NBA Rumors: Rudy Fernandez Being Shopped to Denver Nuggets by the Mavericks

John Friel@@JohnFtheheatgodAnalyst IDecember 13, 2011

Now that Vince Carter and Lamar Odom have joined the reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, it seems as if Rudy Fernandez isn't receiving the warm welcome that he was hoping for.

Fernandez has yet to play a game for the Mavericks, but could already see himself on the move as he's looking for a larger role that Dallas simply cannot offer. There's too much depth on this team with Jason Terry, DeShawn Stevenson and Carter at shooting guard and Odom and Shawn Marion sharing time at small forward.

Not to mention that he'd also be competing for time with Delonte West, Corey Brewer and a number of other players that also share his position.

There are many teams out there that would enjoy having a talent like Fernandez on their squad and one of those teams should be fortunate to land him. Rudy is reportedly asking for either a larger role with the Mavericks or a buyout from the team that will allow him to become a free agent and sign with whatever team he chooses.

Fernandez has played three years in the NBA, all coming with the Portland Trail Blazers. His athleticism allowed him to become a fan favorite as he finished off dunks and alley-oops that no NBA fan had seen from a European before since the days of Toni Kukoc.

Rudy averaged 10 points and three boards per in his rookie season, but then saw his overall production decline as he's averaged eight points over the past two seasons while shooting less than 38 percent from the field. His three-point percentage suffered the greatest hit as he went from shooting nearly 40 percent in his rookie season to a lowly 32 percent in the 2010-11 campaign.

He limited himself to being a three-point shooter for the most part, when he's actually so much more.

Rumors are now being floated around that the Mavericks are in talks with the Denver Nuggets in a potential trade that would send Fernandez to Denver and conditional draft picks in return to Dallas. It's a good deal for the Mavericks as they trim off some fat and cut down the competition, as well as receiving some draft picks, but it's a huge improvement for a team like Denver who could use the help.

With J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler stuck in Asia and Nene Hilario possibly being on the way out, Fernandez is needed just to give the team some offensive help. Currently, the only players worth mentioning are Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, Danilo Gallinari and Arron Afflalo, and that may not be enough to cut it in a daunting league like the Western Conference.

Not to mention that they are in one of the league's most difficult divisions that features the Thunder, the always dangerous Trail Blazers, the re-building Jazz and the up-and-coming Timberwolves. The Nuggets are going to need to find some help elsewhere until their three stars return, K-Mart should be gone, and Rudy can help fill that void while still maintaining a significant impact on the Nuggets upon their return.

Face it, the Nuggets could use production from just about anywhere. They currently feature Afflalo and Gallinari as their starters at the two and three with no other proven player being on the team to back up either player. The athletic, sharp shooting Fernandez will help add some versatility as he has shown that he can hit from deep as well as drive in the lane when he feels like it.

If only Fernandez felt like it more. Perhaps coach George Karl can begin instilling that philosophy into Fernandez, who is seeing more than half of his shot attempts come from beyond the arc. The team has perimeter shooters in Lawson, Afflalo and Gallinari with none too many slashers, which means that Rudy will have to end up filling that void if the Nuggets want to remain relevant until their players come back from being held hostage in China.

The Nuggets need to find quality players and fast. Fernandez addresses both issues as he's looking to drop the Mavericks like a bad habit as he is not willing to compete with four reserve players to get into the rotation before attempting to compete with even more players just to receive the significant minutes that he's hoping for.