When Andre Iguodala announced his decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors for $48 million over four years, the Denver Nuggets were reportedly not interested in facilitating a sign-and-trade. The Nuggets have since changed their tune and were involved in a three-team sign-and-trade with the Warriors and the Utah Jazz. In this deal, Denver acquires Randy Foye at $9 million for three years and a $12 million traded player exception (TPE) for Iguodala. Foye is likely a replacement for the yet to be traded Andre Miller.
The real asset for Denver in this deal is the trade exception that was created as it can be used any time in the next 12 months. This exception is like a gift card that the Nuggets can cash in at any time over the next year for a player worth up to 125% of $12 million plus $100,ooo. Basically, what that means is that Denver can trade for a player whose salary is up to $15 million. Looking around the league at players in this price range, there is only one that stands out as a fit for the Nuggets.
That player is Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers, a team that Denver’s head coach Brian Shaw is very familiar with. Granger would provide the Nuggets with veteran leadership and a go-to scorer as he has averaged about 20 points per game over his eight-year career with the Pacers. This would also provide the Nuggets with another reliable outside shooter as they continue their summertime makeover of the franchise.
Granger would give the Denver a wonderful option next to Wilson Chandler in the starting lineup while Danilo Gallinari recovers from a knee injury. In addition, there is very little risk for the Nuggets as the former New Mexico Lobo is on the last year of his deal worth just over $14 million, which is much less than they would have paid Iguodala had he opted in to the final year of his contract. Indiana is known to be shopping Granger but has found there is no market for him. If they are willing to simply accept the instant salary-cap relief that this trade exception from Denver, then both teams win.