Friday, January 12, 2007

A Terrible, EARLy Call

Trading Earl Boykins was a bad move by the Nuggets. Not because Boykins is that good, rather, what they got in return doesn’t make there situation improve.

The Denver Nuggets pulled the trigger with the Milwaukee Bucks picking up guard Steve Blake. The former Terrapin, national champion, and bad pick by the Washington Wizards. In return for Blake the Bucks received Boykins, and Julius Hodge.

Julius Hodge may have been a great dump other than the fact that the Nuggets sent $700,000 to help pay the remainder of his 1.2 million dollar contract. $700,000! 1.2 million! Why was he getting that sort of money? He sat at the far end of the bench and his only highlight was getting socked in the baby sacks by Chris Paul in his final year at NC State.

Outside of the financial stupidity of this move is the fact that Steve Blake will be a back-up. Sure, Boykins wouldn’t have received the same amount of playing time once Carmelo Anthony returned from injury, but at least he’s a consistent scoring threat when Allen Iverson needs a breather. Boykins has scored over 20 points in 8 of the last 10 games. Steve Blake can’t provide that kind of scoring as a backup point guard.

I also don’t want to hear that Blake is a pure point guard that can play with Iverson and Anthony. Who cares? Iverson is better suited playing the point guard position because it systematically forces him to pass the ball instead of shooting every possession.

For the Bucks the move is very intelligent. You get a project player in Hodge plus the money to pay him making it a very cheap $500,000 option. Plus, you get a scorer that will keep you in the hunt while Michael Redd (knee) and Mo Williams (shoulder) recover from injuries that will sideline them for at least 3-4 weeks each.

Boykins also slides in under a 4.3 million dollar injury exemption created by the season ending injury to Bobby Simmons. Great business and playing transaction by the Bucks, while the Nuggets can only say that this deal keeps them from sliding into luxury tax territory.

What the Nuggets let go was a point guard that knew the system, and most importantly, knew his role. Boykins is a shoot first guard but he’s also a guy that could provide good offensive numbers off the pine. As it stands bench scoring will be left up to Blake (3.6 ppg this season), Eduardo Najera (5.3 career ppg), DeMarr Johnson (3.6 ppg), and Nene Hilario (6.8 ppg).

The future looks so much brighter now!

We’ll see how the move pans out for both sides. My guess is that one of these players is going to make his former team regret striking a deal to get him out of town. Let’s just hope its Boykins so that I can say I'm right.

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