by Craig Kwasniewski
So I'm trying to figure out the whole point to the Earl Watson era in Denver. Last summer, the Nuggets sign Watson to a 5 year-$29 million contract, making him the third point guard on the team (behind Boykins and Miller). Watson doesn't even leave the bench for the first eight games of the season. Eventually, he settles in as a 20-25 minute guard off the bench, averaging 7.5 points and 3.5 assists.
The trade rumors start to fly. Teams like Houston, Orlando, New York and Seattle, all looking to acquire a decent point guard, start calling.
So what does Denver do? They trade Watson in a three team deal with Portland and Seattle. Here's the rundown:
-Denver acquires Reggie Evans from Seattle and Reuben Patterson and Charles Smith from Portland.
-Portland gets Voshon Lenard from Denver and Vitaly Potapenko from Seattle.
-Seattle gets Watson and Bryon Russell from Denver.
So with all the offers coming their way, the best the Nugs can do is Patterson and Evans? Actually both are unselfish quality defensive players. By acquiring power forward Evans, does that mean that Kenyon Martin will be shipped? Side bonus: Reuben Patterson's rap sheet should pale in comparison to Melo's, thus improving the image of their star player.
Portland will continue its ongoing quest for salary-cap relief with Leonard. Plus they seem to be stockpiling a quality group of international stiffs in Potapenko, Ha Seung-Jin and Viktor Khryapa.
Seattle (who by the way allows a shocking 106.7 points a game) gets Watson, which will add quality depth to their backcourt. The Chris Wilcox deal last week allowed the Sonics to part ways with Evans, who was a key player last seasons playoff run.