Denver Nuggets deal away JaVale McGee and Arron Afflalo in two separate trades

February 20, 2015

Well out of the playoff race in a competitive Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets have essentially thrown in the towel and started the rebuilding process once again, as the team traded away two of its veterans in two separate moves at the NBA's trade deadline.

In the first deal, center JaVale McGee, a protected 2015 first round pick (via Oklahoma City), and the rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum were sent to Philadelphia in exchange for the right to Cenk Akyol, Denver General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

In the second trade, the Nuggets acquired Will Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson, and a lottery-protected 2016 first round pick from Portland in exchange for Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee.

In the final tally, the Nuggets got a likely mid-to-late first round pick in 2016, and a bunch of low-cost, spare part role players, many of whom won't stick around for long.

Akyol, 27, was originally drafted by the Hawks with the 59th overall selection in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft. The 6-6 guard from Turkey plays for Galatasaray of the Turkish Basketball League and has averaged 6.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game this season.

Barton, 6-6, 174, was selected by Portland with the 40th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft. The 24-year-old has appeared in 144 games (five starts) in three seasons with Portland, averaging 3.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game.

Claver, 6-9, 224, was drafted out of Spain by Portland with the 22nd pick of the 2009 NBA Draft. He made his NBA debut during the 2012-13 campaign and has since averaged 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds in 80 career games (16 starts) spanning three seasons with the Blazers.

Robinson, 6-9, 240, was drafted out of the University of Kansas by the Sacramento Kings with the 5th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft. Robinson was later traded to Houston and then on to Portland during the 2012-13 season. He has appeared in 172 career games (four starts) in three seasons with the Kings, Rockets and Blazers, averaging 4.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game.

As for the Nuggets' trade partners, the results were mixed.

Philly has been in full-scale rebuild mode for quite some time, and is content accumulating picks and kicking the can down the road.  The Sixers got a first rounder out of the deal to add to their stash.

In McGee, Philly got an enigmatic big, who at the least can be a game-changing shot-blocker off the bench.  He appeared in 17 games for Denver this season, averaging 5.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 11.5 minutes per contest. He had appeared in a total of 121 games (10 starts) in four seasons with the Nuggets, averaging 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 17.5 minutes.

Maduabum was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 56th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft before his rights were traded to Denver in a draft-night deal. He most recently appeared in four games for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League and seven games for Tallinna Ulikool/Kalev of the Estonian Basketball League.

Meanwhile, Portland added an excellent guard in Afflalo for what could be a deep playoff run this season.

Afflalo is a good three-point shooter who is capable of creating his own shot on isolation plays if necessary.  More importantly, he is a gritty defender, who will compete defensively.

With Afflalo and Wesley Matthews on the wings, Portland now has two guys who can wreak havoc defensively on their opponents' top perimeter threats.

Afflalo appeared in 53 games (all starts) for Denver this season, averaging 14.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He appeared in a total of 266 games (259 starts) in two stints with the Nuggets (2009-2012, 2013-14), averaging 12.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in those contests.

Gee appeared in 39 games with Denver this season, averaging 4.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.1 minutes.

By Staff of and news services

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