DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Nuggets finally have their man — they’ve been after Andre Iguodala for years.
“You keep trying and trying and things don’t always go your way in the NBA, but our job is to keep poking away and we did,” Nuggets General Manager Masai Ujiri said. “You need a little bit of luck and we got some luck.”
“I don’t want to call it a no-brainer because you’ve got to put some thought into everything, but I think whenever a chance comes along to acquire an All-Star and an Olympian, you’ve got to always look at it pretty hard,” Nuggets President Josh Kroenke said. “The deal made sense for us, so obviously we did it.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Iguodala Arrives In Denver
Iguodala had heard the rumors that the Nuggets were interested before the trade, and he had a chance to ask someone pretty familiar with the Nuggets — Carmelo Anthony.
“Every player and coach is going to have run-ins at different times of their careers,” Iguodala said. “He definitely had nothing but good things to say about Coach Karl. He said, ‘You would be a perfect fit for Coach Karl.’ ”
“Obviously it was a tough situation a few years ago with Carmelo, but there was never any bad blood there. It was all upfront honesty and it was a business decision on all of our parts,” Kroenke said. “We’ve preserved the relationship. Melo is still a great guy. We don’t have any ill will towards him. It’s good to hear him saying positive things about the organization because we feel the same way about him.”
Now the Nuggets are hoping Iguodala can be what Anthony was in Denver — a go-to guy — even though he will do it in a different way.
“Whether it’s take the big shot or make the play that gets us the shot; just being a playmaker and being an ultimate team guy,” Ujiri said.
One thing the Nuggets know for sure is that Iguodala makes their defense better.
“That’s how I got on the court originally coming into the league,” Iguodala said. “I just needed to wait to find myself on the court. Defensively, that became my way, so it just became second nature to defend like that.”
“We’ve struggled with that. He’ll bring that mentality. I always compare it with Kenneth Faried and his energy. This guy has the same energy; he’s tenacious, he’ll defend, he handles, he pushes, he rebounds, he can score,” Ujiri said. “His shooting has got better, and you’ve got a good guy who’s a team guy. We’re excited.”
“The Denver Nuggets are better. We’re better than we were last week, we’ve got some more experience, we’ve got a great basketball player,” Kroenke said. “We’re going to keep going forward.”