HIS FUTURE IN DENVER ASIDE, IGUODALA SHOULD HELP NUGGETS THRIVE

A day after Andrew Bynum talked about staying long-term in Philadelphia, the other All-Star in the Dwight Howard trade did the same in Denver.

“We aren’t coming in to this thinking this is just a one year deal,” Andre Iguodala said at his introductory news conference on Thursday. “We are looking to the future and definitely looking ahead looking to see how we can go forward so this isn’t a quick stop for me.

“This would be a great place for me to have some great years ahead of me and possibly ending my career here.”

Iguodala is under contract for the next two years, but with an early termination option that can make him a free agent next summer. Contract extension talks don’t need to take place for a while, but there’s reason for Denver to be excited about some continuity with a young and talented core, asBenjamin Hochman of the Denver Post writes

Ujiri already has said he wants to sign point guard Ty Lawson to a long-term deal, and Lawson told The Denver Post last May that he was excited about that possibility. If Ujiri and team president Josh Kroenke can re-sign their backcourt, that will give Denver a thrilling nucleus going forward, knowing small forwards Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler and center JaVale McGee are already signed for years to come. Meanwhile, power forward Kenneth Faried is entering the second season of his rookie contract.

“My focus,” Iguodala said, “is to help our team, not only to go out there and to play at the best of our abilities, but to believe that we’re going to make ourselves in contention to be at the top of the West. No matter what anybody else says, we are going to go out there and play for one thing and that is a championship.”

Come November, we’ll see just how well Iguodala fits with his new team. But given his strengths and the Nuggets’ weaknesses, he’ll clearly help.

The Nuggets were a poor defensive team last season, ranking 19th by allowing 103.4 points per 100 possessions. Iguodala, of course, is maybe the best perimeter defender in the league. Over the last two seasons, the Sixers were much better defensively when he was on the floor…

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