I would never have thought the Denver Nuggets were a potential free-agent landing spot for David West, but that was before learning that Andre Iguodala was opting out of the final year of his contract.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Iggy is becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer:
Denver Nuggets forward Andre Iguodala has decided to opt out of the final year of his contract and enter free agency, Yahoo! Sports has learned.
His agent, Rob Pelinka, informed Denver CEO Josh Kroenke of the plan in a meeting on Thursday in Los Angeles.
"We are fully aware of Andre's intentions and he's well aware of how much we want him back," Kroenke told Yahoo! Sports Friday afternoon. "Andre is a huge priority for our organization."
Iguodala will bypass the $15.9 million owed him next season and will be eligible to sign a new four-year deal elsewhere or sign an extension up to five years with the Nuggets.
In all likelihood, Iggy will be the primary target this offseason for the Nuggets, but his opt out opens up the possibilities for them. Before his decision, Denver was set to pay $68,681,468 to its players. After the choice, the Mile High City organization is only on the books for $52.6 million.
While that doesn't give the Nuggets much financial flexibility, they could still complete a sign-and-trade for West, giving up one of their talented centers or a wing player to be named.
Doing so would enable the Nuggets to play even more small ball, occasionally rolling with a big-man core of West and Kenneth Faried. Small sample-sized warnings abound here, but the Manimal has actually been more successful at the 5 than the 4. So much for being undersized.
According to 82games.com, Faried posted a 21.0 PER during the 2012-13 season when he was the biggest man on the court for Denver, and that dropped to 19.3 when he was playing his more natural position. At the same time, he allowed opposing centers to post a 16.7 PER and held the other teams' 4s to a 15.9.
If you do the simple subtraction there, he had a net PER of 4.3 at center and 3.4 at power forward. It's a marginal difference, but moving Faried to center has worked out nicely so far. And this isn't just a one-season fluke.
As a rookie, Faried had a net PER of 11.9 at center and 3.9 at power forward.
Iguodala is still the primary target for the as-of-yet-unnamed general manager, but Faried's ability to shift frontcourt spots allows West to be an interesting possibility.