Jared Jeffries always saw basketball a little differently than most of his NBA peers did.
While many former lottery picks chased gaudy statistics and lost their way in the process, Jeffries carved out an 11-year career on the strength of his defense and hustle. A potent scorer in college—15.0 points in his sophomore season at Indiana—he managed to command more than 21 minutes a night despite picking up a total of 2.9 offensive win shares over the course of his career.
The Denver Nuggets are hoping they'll be able to make the most of one of this generation's most cerebral players. According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Denver has added Jeffries to its front office and given him a focus on scouting.
Will Denver's front office/coaching changes help or hurt the franchise?
The Nuggets have underwent a changing of the guard over the offseason. Former general manager, Masai Ujiri, and head coach, George Karl, were replaced by Tim Connelly and Brian Shaw, respectively.
As Wojnarowski noted, Jeffries has a working history with Connelly. Connelly was a member of the Washington Wizards front office when Jeffries played there from 2002-06.
An underappreciated pro, he brought great value to his teams if the right expectations were in place. He could get exposed at times if too much was asked of him offensively, but in the right system his talents beamed as a scrapper and stopper.
For a Nuggets team sapped of star power since Carmelo Anthony's departure in 2011, Jeffries should be relied on to spot unheralded talent. Denver rattled off 57 wins last season without a single All-Star on the roster, proving once again that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Jeffries knows as well as anyone that talent doesn't always translate to the stat sheet. Don't be surprised if he sniffs out a few sleepers early into this next stage of his basketball life.