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October 4, 2008 12:05 AM

Tinsley deal wouldn't be attractive economically

By Chris Tomasson
Rocky Mountain News

Yes, character issues have to come into play. But what could be the ultimate reason the Nuggets apparently won't acquire banished Indiana point guard Jamaal Tinsley for guard Chucky Atkins and center Steven Hunter?
Money, of course.
The Nuggets last summer gave away center Marcus Camby and his $10 million salary-cap number to the Clippers for next to nothing to avoid luxury-tax hell. Do they really want to risk eventually putting themselves back to where they were?
The New York Post reported Friday the Nuggets would acquire Tinsley pending the point guard passing a physical. The story was refuted by Nuggets coach George Karl and Hunter's agent, Mark Bartelstein, although a source did tell the Indianapolis Star there remains a "possibility'' of the deal going down.
If the Nuggets were to make the trade, they would risk again having serious luxury-tax problems, especially in 2010-11, when Tinsley is making $7.5 million in the final year of his contract and the deals for Hunter and Atkins will have expired. Tinsley is due to make $6.75 million this season and $7.2 million next season.
If the Nuggets were to make the deal, this season pretty much would be a wash since Hunter makes $3.86 million and Atkins $3.24 million (a combined $7.1 million).
Next season, if the Nuggets plan to keep Atkins, it also would be a wash in such a deal were made. Hunter is due $3.7 million and Atkins $3.48 million (a combined $7.18) million. However, Atkins only has $760,000 of his contract guaranteed so the Nuggets would take on an extra $2.74 million if they're planning to let Atkins go and acquired Tinsley.
However, where the Nuggets really could be hurt financially by a Tinsley deal would be 2010-11, when the contracts for Hunter and Atkins will have come off the books.
Consider who's already under contract that season for the Nuggets:

--Carmelo Anthony, $17.15 million.
--Kenyon Martin $16.55 million.
--Nene $11.36 million.
--J.R. Smith, about $6 million.

That's four players making about $51 million. Also consider the Nuggets may have forward Linas Kleiza, who is more likely than not to have a new Denver contract start in 2009-10, making a salary in the neighborhood of Smith's.
If Tinsley's $7.5 million were thrown in that season, the Nuggets could be staring at six players making an amount not all that far from $65 million. And it should be noted none of this considers the possibility, albeit a remote one, that guard Allen Iverson would be on the payroll in 2010-11 at the age of 35.
The Nuggets gave away Camby to regain some financially stability. Do they really want to risk potentially returning to their former state in 2010-11?


  • October 4, 2008

    2:33 AM

    Jonnbear writes:

    I was hoping the trade would go through so we could get rid of Atkins injured a**. He's been a waste of a Nuggets jersey. At least Tinsley would come in here with a little motivation.

  • October 4, 2008

    12:02 PM

    ben writes:

    i think that we need to make this trade. we dont have a "true" pointguard and this would very good. but apparently the nuggets dont want to make this trade.

  • October 4, 2008

    1:19 PM

    Diverse writes:

    The nuggets should make this trade. I like hunter and the always injured atkins, but denver could use Tinsley to start and carter for backup. Steven hunter has skills, but never plays. I think the nuggets would benefit from this trade more than lose.

  • October 4, 2008

    4:32 PM

    warrengfunk7 writes:

    With Camby gone, Denver NEEDS Hunter at backup Center.

    With A.I. focusing on passing more this season than last (and he did better last season, than teh season before last), the Nuggets need to move A.I. to Point Guard and start J.R. Smith at SG, so they can add some height that they will need to be able to play more Zone Defense.

    With Camby gone, Nene is a beast and better option in the post. But the team looses some rebounds. So Nene, K0Mart, Melo and J.R. Smith need to all be starters, out on the floor and picking up their rebound game in a team effort, allowing them to play Zone Defense-- which is their only hope to becoming a championship team.

    A.I. is more than capable at running the Nugget's offense from the point and with all the big men at SG, SF, PF and Center, A.I. at the Point can still push the Nugget's offense by leaking out for the fast Break.

  • October 4, 2008

    4:47 PM

    shrevon writes:

    i hope it is no deal.

  • October 7, 2008

    10:22 PM

    roger writes:

    what about the $10,000,000 exception we get with the Camby deal?

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