NBA Rumors: Why the Denver Nuggets Must Re-Sign Arron Afflalo

Austin GreenCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2011

DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  Arron Afflalo #6 of the Denver Nuggets wipes his face with his jersey as he awaits action against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Thunder 104-101 to stay alive as the Thunder lead the series 3-1 over the Nuggets. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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The Denver Nuggets have yet to re-sign shooting guard Arron Afflalo, but they would be smart to secure him before it's too late.

Afflalo, Denver's starting 2-guard last season, is one of the most underrated players in the league. He's an elite perimeter defender and is insanely efficient on offense.

Last season he scored 12.6 points per game while shooting 49.8 percent from the field, 42.3 percent on threes and 84.7 percent from the free-throw line.

His effective field goal percentage (FG% weighted to account for three-pointers) was a ridiculous 58.1 percent, highest among all shooting guards who played at least 45 games.

DENVER, CO - APRIL 23:  Arron Afflalo #6 of the Denver Nuggets scores agains the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on April 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User
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Aside from his great production, the Nuggets also need to bring him back to fill the gaping hole at their shooting guard spot.

With Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith stuck in China, Denver is lacking bodies on the perimeter. They traded for sharpshooter Rudy Fernandez, but he's much better suited for a sixth man role.

The Nuggets obviously realize that Afflalo was an important part of last season's 50-win team, so they are trying to bring him back. General manager Masai Ujiri sounds optimistic about their chances.

"We're moving and it's going good," Ujiri said. "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."

For Denver's sake, I hope this deal gets done. If Afflalo ends up leaving, they will suffer severely.