I was mostly looking for info re: Watson and found this little blurb:
Who's sure lock at point?
Jeff of Longmont: Elementary! My dear Watson!
By Adam Thompson
Denver Post Staff Writer
Denver Post sports writer Adam Thompson posts his Nuggets Mailbag every other Tuesday during the 2005-06 NBA season on DenverPost.com. The next installment is slated for Jan. 10.
What in the world are the Nuggets doing by trying to trade Earl Watson? He is the only Nugget who can hit the 3-pointer with any consistency, and he is their best defender at the point. I would 10 times rather trade Earl Boykins, who is such a defensive liability, than trade Watson.
-- Jeff, Longmont
Jeff - It's a fair question, though I will point out that before yesterday's game at Golden State, Watson's 41.7 3-point percentage this season is not in line with the 30.9 percent he shot before this year. That being said, you could make a strong case for him being valuable enough to keep. He does play better defense than Boykins and Miller. And in his time at UCLA and with the Grizzlies, he's been underestimated before proving himself central to his team's plans.
The flipside of the argument - Karl likes the speed Boykins brings to the game off the bench, and we've seen how mediocre the Nuggets can look while he has sat with his bad hamstring. Also, Watson's salary of $5 million could fetch more in return than the $2.75 million Boykins makes.
Do you think Carmelo Anthony is going to make the all-star roster this year with his play? I also heard that he might be committed to USA Basketball - and its three-year plan. So what do you see in Carmelo's future?
-- Phillip Her, Westminster
Phillip - I'd say Melo's still facing an uphill battle for this year, though if he keeps scoring the way he has most of December, he might force his way onto the roster. There are typically six slots for forwards on the team. Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki are automatic. Tracy McGrady was voted in as a guard last year but is listed as a forward on this year's ballot and should get voted in. That leaves two slots between Elton Brand, Pau Gasol, Shawn Marion and Melo. It might be tough for him if no one else drops off precipitously or gets hurt. With Yao Ming injured, however, Marcus Camby looks like he only has Mehmet Okur and Brad Miller to compete with for one of the two spots at center.
As for the Olympics, Anthony has said that he's willing to make the three-year commitment, but while Team USA has talked to him, no decision has been made.
Is it likely that Kiki Vandeweghe will ever step up and make a trade to improve this team?
-- Joe, Longmont
Joe - Short answer - probably. Long answer - people forget that some of the most crucial moves this team has made under Vandeweghe have come in midseason trades.
Remember the blockbuster with Dallas that created all the cap space that set the Nuggets' rise? And while not on the same scale, the deal that brought Eduardo Najera in from Golden State at the trade deadline helped spark them on that epic run that got them into the playoffs.
In other words, Vandeweghe may not have made many moves this summer, but he is not afraid to take risks, and I wouldn't be surprised
Point guard Earl Watson signed as a free agent with the Nuggets on Aug. 8, 2005. (Post file)
if he made another one, considering the holes this roster has shown itself to have.
The announcers on Altitude have been looking for a nickname for Linas Kleiza. Wasn't he called the "Vanilla Gorilla" in college? What could be cooler than that?
-- Erik, Colorado Springs
Erik - I can't speak directly for my electronic colleagues, but my guess is they don't want to offend anybody. Or maybe they didn't want to confuse fans of the classic cartoon "Magilla Gorilla." A nickname like that would have been easier to get away with in the '70s, when "The White Shadow" was on the air, but it may be tougher now. I know Chris Andersen got a little uncomfortable when Darryl Dawkins labeled him the "White Kite" at the 2004 Slam Dunk Contest.
I saw the new road jerseys. Did the Denver Nuggets have a team in the NBA in the 1950s or earlier?
-- Ray Tangye, Lakewood
Ray - To answer your question, assuming you weren't being sarcastic, Denver started playing in the ABA in 1967 and in the NBA in 1976. But next time, don't be lazy. There's this thing called the Internet. You can go to a website called google.com and find what you were looking for in about 15 seconds. You wouldn't have to wait days or weeks for someone to get back to you, or suffer the snarky response of a mailbag columnist.
Hi, Adam. I was wondering: What happened to Latrell Sprewell? Does no one in the NBA want to take a chance on this guy because of his attitude?
-- Tee Tran, A-town
Tee Tran - There are plenty of characters worse than Sprewell that NBA teams have taken a chance on. The man certainly has his issues, but if you ask guys who have played with him, they usually talk about how great he is in the locker room. His on-court attitude is a factor, but a secondary one. Sprewell's stated refusal to come off the bench for a team like Detroit probably didn't help his cause. But a larger issue is the money he continues to hold out for ... presumably to feed a family that by now must be very hungry. His agent continues to say that the minimum won't do for his man, who clearly was showing his age last year with the Timberwolves. So far, no GM agrees. Also, don't count out the notion that Sprewell may just be resting up before signing with a contender. Glenn Robinson parlayed that approach into a cheap ring with San Antonio last year.