Nuggets coach George Karl recently joined Scott Hastings on KFFN in Denver to discuss the Nuggets' part in August's blockbuster four-team trade, how losing two veteran players would affect the team, and the next step for Denver. Sports Radio Interviews provides a transcript of a few of Karl's more interesting quotes, so let's check them out:
On acquiring Andre Iguodala:
"We didn’t want to make a trade unless we knew it was going to make us better. Iguodala was kind of rumored all last year and a little bit after the season…. I think [GM] Masai [Ujiri] just did a great job of keeping a good pulse of what was going on. The negative of the trade is giving up Arron Afflalo and Al [Harrington] who were both very, very pivotal players on our basketball team last year and they’re good leaders on our team. Everybody is saying, what is the difference of the team going to be? And I’m not afraid of the differences and I’m hoping we can get whoever, Ty Lawson or Iggy or someone, into that locker room and give us the positive leadership that Arron and Al gave us and maybe a little bit more."
On whether Harrington was an ideal fit on the Nuggets:
"I think you’re defining where Al is in his career. Al was a scorer and 35 minute player as a guy that had to touch the ball and wanted to touch the ball almost all the time and he was now coming into a team where we were going to ask him to play 25 minutes and try to open up the middle of the court for us and also do some banging inside. In the first year I thought he struggled with his identity or his role on our team but I thought last year he was super. I thought he was absolutely fantastic. I can remember five or six wins that we had that had Al Harrington written all over it."
On how the team will adjust to having Iguodala in Afflalo's place:
"Arron Afflalo is just a rock, a really solid pro. He’s not spectacular, he’s not fancy, he’s not a highlight film but at the end of the game you get a guy who is going to get you 15 to 20 points and going to give you a solid playmaking game. Most of the time he’s a good defender but we made the trade to basically get better defensively. We think Iguodala is a top 10 defender in basketball and I don’t know if he can cover big guys but I don’t think he’d be afraid of the challenge. Play [him] and Gallo (Danilo Gallinari) at three and four and see if we can get away with it but the whole thing comes down to, he fits our personality, he’s one of those players in basketball that on any given night he can get a triple double and he helps you win basketball games by doing little things and team things as much as he does statistical things."
On the next step for the Nuggets:
"It’s our young guys gaining confidence and building trust…. We are excited about this season and we think we can be a top four team in the West. If we get to a top four team in the West we should expect to try to win the first round and see what happens after that."