The Denver Nuggets at least recovered slightly after losing Andre Iguodala, manufacturing shooting guard Randy Foye on an affordable contract and a $9.1 million trade exception out of a situation where they were going to lose him for nothing. Both pieces are useful ones, so credit to the Nuggets for pulling off the transaction. Foye will make $9 million over the next three years, with the third year a team option.
Foye's turned himself into a useful role player after being a draft bust in Minnesota, and the Nuggets especially need the skills he provides. He shot 39 percent from three-point range playing primarily with Chris Paul with the Clippers in 2011-12, then bettered that by nailing 41 percent of his shots from downtown with the Jazz last season. Foye was particularly good shooting in transition, hitting half of his 70 three-point attempts on those plays, according to MySynergySports.com. He can dribble a little and drive to his right, but otherwise he's a pretty limited player. Nevertheless, he can shoot, and shooting is extremely valuable in this league.
Truthfully, the Nuggets could have used Foye more last season, when they had Iguodala to cover for his defensive deficiencies and were pushing the top of the Western Conference without much outside shooting. They'll still find him useful now, of course, but he could have helped push the Nuggets to another level by aiding one of their biggest weaknesses. (He would not have been much help for Denver's other big weakness: interior defense.)
The trade exception is a useful asset as well, though it's not clear whether the Nuggets will use it. Denver could have over $10 million in breathing room under the luxury tax, but that's only if it renounce the rights to Corey Brewer and Timofey Mozgov. Mozgov is probably a goner, but Brewer is someone Denver may want to keep. Still, it's yet another tool the Nuggets could use to acquire some talent to make up for Iguodala's departure, and they have a full year until they must use it. If Denver maintains some breathing room under the luxury tax into the season, it could pick off some assets from teams looking to dump salary to avoid the luxury tax.
All in all, this was a nice recovery by general manager Tim Connelly. I'm still not wild about the J.J. Hickson signing, but turning Iguodala's departure into a sign-and-trade for Foye and a trade exception was a good decision.