Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri has been lauded for his moves of late, in particular his involvement in the Dwight Howard/Andrew Bynum blockbuster that netted the team Andre Iguodala. Coach George Karl is also regarded as one of the league's best, and he spoke about the team's moves and how he expects to use a roster he described as "a big bucket of talent" to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post. Here are a few highlights from the Q&A:
About the summer and the team's offseason moves:
"We just had a summer of constant positive momentum. The Olympics were great. And then you get (JaVale) McGee signed and Andre (Miller) signed, both really important to our team. All our young guys had good summers — (Danilo) Gallinari had a good summer with the Italian national team, Timo (Mozgov) was kind of a superstar for Russia (at the Olympics). And of course, the Iguodala trade was the (big) piece that makes us a better basketball team, though to get a good player you've got to give up good players. We'll miss Arron Afflalo. There will be some games in which we'll say, "I wish we had Arron out there." But in the end, we think we made a step forward, and hopefully a step to get into the top-eight teams in basketball, maybe a little bit further. Our goal in the next three to four years is to build this thing and make steps toward a championship."
On who will start at center:
"Training camp is going to tell me who plays. My idea right now is Mozgov would start with (Kenneth) Faried and JaVale would stay with (backup point guard) Andre Miller. But again, I don't (care) about starting lineups, and (the media is) already stirring the pot. It's all about how many minutes you play, who you play with, how well you play and how we play (when you're on the court). Kosta Koufos is in the mix, too. Let's make sure you understand that. In the last 15 to 20 games of the season, when Timo got hurt, Kosta not only played well but good enough to get us to the playoffs."
Regarding the way Iguodala fits into the team's system:
"I don't think there's any question that defense is what we need to get better at. I don't think we're a bad defensive team, but I don't think we're a top-notch defensive team. We gave away Kenyon Martin and some of the "A" defenders that we used to have, and last year we weren't good enough defensively. We get a guy who fits how we play — he's an athlete, loves to run, he's a play-maker, but also a top-10 defender in the game. So how we build our defense with a great defender who can (defend) point guard, shooting guard, small forward and probably power forward."