Nuggets Swap Nene For McGee

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — In a day filled with moves both major and minor, obvious and perhaps not so obvious, one complex deal stood out above the crowd here at the hideout.

The Denver Nuggets traded Nene to Washington for JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf, with the Clippers helping facilitate the deal by sending Brian Cook and a future second-round draft pick to Washington for Nick Young.

The Clippers clearly got what they needed in Young, a scoring machine who can play alongside Chris Paul in the backcourt but also has the size to work at small forward as well. But what the Nuggets and Wizards get out of this deal remains a little a murky at this point.

McGee is a talented but enigmatic player who has struggled to put it all together in Washington, But he does offer the Nuggets some size, athleticism and big-time defensive potential for a very reasonable price. Toss in the fact that he’s a restricted free agent after this season, the salary-cap relief alone provided the Nuggets with a financial opportunity they simply could not pass up.

But it throws their December signing of Nene to a five-year, $67 million deal onto the top of the buyer’s remorse pile. Apparently Nene’s injury history and struggles this season overshadowed his value (13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds) to a Nuggets team in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase.

On paper it seems to make good sense, but is Nene the low-post anchor the Wizards needs to help point guard John Wall come into his own? And does McGee, even in the short-term and at such a discount compared to Nene, really make the Nuggets better in a playoff series in the rugged Western Conference?

There simply are not definitive answers to either one of those questions right now. That’s not acceptable for the Nuggets, a team that has to mind its money in the wake of their work at the trade deadline last season, when they sent Carmelo Anthony to New York in a blockbuster deal that many observers feared would decimate their team.

What’s not clear is what impact rookie Kenneth Faried‘s play had on the Nuggets’ decision. He’s played so well as of late (11 points and 8 rebounds in his last 10 games and scored a career-high 20 points to go with 12 boards in 34 minutes Monday in a 119-116 overtime win over the Kings), the front office has to take notice and wonder if they could get the same sort of production from Faried as they have from Nene.

If this deal for the Nuggets was more about the future of Faried than anything else, then it makes much more sense for the Nuggets. Because for all of the dollars they might have saved by trading Nene, they also needed a deal that makes sense for a team that’s already a playoff squad.


  1. robocup says:

    Don’t count on McGee for defense! He will make an attempt to block the shot, and regardless of if he gets the block, leaks out immediately in hope of getting a ally-oops down court. His block number looks impressive on the stat sheet, but many of his blocks ended up to be baskets for the opponent anyway since McGee has this notion that once he attempted the block his defensive duty is done.

    I now because I have painfully watched every Wizards’ game as a (you guess it) die-hard Wizards fan.

  2. Boy Pickup says:

    McGee might be doing boneheaded plays… but who knows, a scenery change might tap his potential. First, you’ll have a great coach in Karl. Second, unlike in Washington where players already have that Diva attitude (see Wall, Blatche) even if their team is a joke, Denver is a totally different team where there is no superstar but everyone plays to win. Javale is an athletic freak that may be serviceable to Karl’s system.

    Nene has gotten the worst out of the deal. He isnt that much talent to build a team around with and he won’t be tradeable for the next 4 years to any contender due to his big contract.

  3. Gerald Nets says:

    nick young is awesome

  4. charles says:

    Denver is a relatively y oung team – ty lawson, McGee, Faried, Gillanari are all about to hit their prime. So they maybe betting to catch all of them at just the right time for them to hit the apex of their game. George Karl ofcourse delivers no matter what – consistently.

  5. dubd43a says:

    I’m a huge wizards fan. But i am not sure about Nene potential with the wizards. But i am sure that the nuggets have a sure headache with the McGee. Don’t let his stats fool u he has played for a bad team his whole career and he will make at least 3 bone headed decisions each game for sure

  6. Jimathai says:

    As a die hard wizards (can’t be any other type of fan when rooting for the wiz) I am not mad at this trade. McGee and Young have immense talent to be sure… but the work ethic, heart, maturity, belief, etc is just not there. I do think we could have gotten much more for them though, but Nene is a monster IF he is healthy… And the wiz are quietly turning into a very rugged, tough, gritty team… We still have a lot of work to do… getting rid of blatche and lewis… but we are slowly putting things together. Young should have a field day in LAC, and I hope McGee continues to improve (especially since he’s on both my fantasy squads)… But as for the Wizards… we need tough strong defensive players… Now if we can only get Nate McMillan!

  7. Taylor says:

    I like this move for the Clippers the definately upgraded at the 2 spot because Nick Young is VOLITILE !!

  8. KobeFan says:

    Honestly? McGee is as immature as Young dunno what they were thinking swaping a solid Nene for a immature player who when his club is losing by a dozen throws an alleyoop to himself omfg…
    Other things worrying me .. what the hell does McGee thinks he is …anyone of you guys ever seen Shaqtin a fool ? Check it what McGee does in games how he screws up what could be an easy fastbreak two…
    Hate the trade for the Nuggets
    Clippers got fresh legs with Young and also a great scorer but dont they have already enough of that in CP3,Must see BG,Mo and even probably Butler?

  9. Devon says:

    I am a long time Wizards fan and HATE this deal. McGee and Young were by far my two favorite players on the team. They had such a big upside. Nene is older and hurt ALL the time. Brian Cook?!?!? Here is a Center, that will not go in the center!! All he dose is shoot 3’s. No thanks!!! This is all the more reason GM E. Grundfiled must go. I must say the Clippers got the best deal out of this, NIck Young is a pure scorer that will fill Billups role. Plus Nick is from California. Not happy at all this moring Wizards. You baffle me…

  10. MarK says:

    Wizards bite the bullet and resign arenas? Unless they feel Crawford is the answer.

  11. Bob says:

    This is a great deal for Denver. Nene is often injured and gets owned on the defensive end. NBA body, NCAA D1 game. While the Wiz were giving away the farm, they should have picked up Nick Young, too. McGhee is 24 years old and has had 0 coaching. I would bet that in a good system, he’d be a star. There is nothing negative about this deal.

  12. Belizeboy says:

    Nick Young to the Clips is an awsome pick up! Can’t wait to see how he works out.

  13. mattman says:

    the wizards got a lot better with one move..i like javale and i think hes got a ton of upside..the only problem is that people have been saying that since he got in the league..

  14. prix says:

    Nuggets makes good move for this…they will benefit from the fresh young defensive talent of Mcgee rather than fading dominance of Nene..

  15. David says:

    Masai Ujiri better pray this deal pays off in the long run or else he follows Nene out of Denver, and while he’s at it he can take along George Karl and his 1st-round playoff exits. But wait of course his amico Josh Kroenke, is the one who does the fring right!!!

  16. Masai Ujiri says:

    I’m very happy for Nene but I didn’t want JaVale…. I’m greatful anyway. JaVale is a great center and I really wanted to keep Nene.