The Denver Nuggets have been rather quiet in free agency and that’s just fine.
The Nuggets were able to re-sign Nene (although they had to overpay) and now they must convince Arron Afflalo to re-sign as well.
Afflalo will be entering his fifth year in the NBA and is coming off his best season yet. His 12.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists were all career highs. He was even the guy head coach George Karl called upon to take the most important shots in crunch time of the playoffs.
Afflalo is important to the Nuggets, who need him to complete the 2011-2012 team.
Judging by the words of Nuggets G.M. Masai Ujiri, he agrees with me: "We’re moving, and it’s going good. He’s our final piece. We’re going to close and try to make sure we get that done. He’s a huge part of our team."
The Nuggets are not going to win a championship this year, I think that much is clear. However, the re-signing of Afflalo would give them a defensive presence that really is lacking without him.
They were the highest-scoring team in the league last year, that part is already covered. They need a defender with the length of the 6'5" Afflalo to get the key one-on-one stops in tight games.
Just ask the “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons of Grantland.com how he feels about Afflalo:
You're getting him at age 26, which means he still has a chance to get about 20 percent better. He's already a classic Table Test guy—he brings a few things to the table and doesn't take anything off it. On the right team, you can pencil Afflalo in for 30 to 35 minutes per night, excellent defense, 13 to 15 points per game, 50/40/80 shooting percentages (FGs, 3s and FTs), good chemistry and a general efficiency/consistency that makes you totally comfortable. You know what you're getting with Arron Afflalo.
The Nuggets are more than aware. If they have to pay him $50 million over four years, so be it. They can always use their amnesty on Nene next year to clear cap space for a legit center. There isn’t a ton of Afflalo’s in the league right now. He’s worth the money and the Nuggets need to make sure he’s sticking around for the foreseeable future.