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Ask A-Lo: Nuggets big men dominate the February mailbag

Readers inquire about Gallo, Faried and Mozgov


As the 2011-12 NBA season rapidly nears the midway point and Nuggets forward Al Harrington celebrates his 32nd birthday, it’s time to open the Ask A-Lo mailbag.

This edition features questions from our backyard in Denver to the hoops haven of Lexington, Ky., to the far reaches of Eastern Europe.

The mailbag will return each month, so feel free to submit your Nuggets and NBA questions throughout the season.

Hello, Aaron!:

What do you think about Timofey Mozgov after the trade from New York and what future is waiting for him with the Nuggets?
- Sergey, Moscow, Russia

Sergey:

Great to hear from Eastern Europe. Nobody around Denver knew much about Mozgov when he arrived in the big trade with the Knicks last February, but he has proven to be an important part of the Nuggets’ success this season.

Not only is he a 7-foot presence in the paint, he is very athletic and is willing to run the floor on every possession. Big men with those attributes are very hard to find, so it’s safe to say the Nuggets see him being a key piece of their future.

Faried flies to the rim.
A-Lo

Do you think Kenneth Faried will get the chance to participate in All-Star weekend? When the NBA GMs were surveyed before the season, he was selected the second-most athletic rookie behind Derrick Williams. What are your thoughts?
- Joey, Lexington, Ky.

Joey:

Though the Manimal would’ve been an excellent choice for the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, he wasn’t among the participants named by the NBA Thursday. He also is not among the 20 players selected by assistant coaches to compete in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.

I think Kenneth’s lack of early season playing time is the primary reason for his omission. When showcasing young talent, the NBA tends to include guys who are playing at least 20-30 minutes a game.

Faried has done a great job making the most of his recent playing time. If he continues to improve and becomes part of the rotation on a consistent basis, there's a good chance he could be invited to the 2013 Rising Stars game that features rookies and second-year players.



Aaron:

What is your best guess for when Danilo Gallinari will be back?
- Laurie, Denver

Laurie:

When Gallo sprained his ankle on Feb. 6, he told the media he expected to be out for about a month. If that timeline holds true, The Rooster could be back in time for Denver’s epic nine-game homestand that starts March 5 against Sacramento, or perhaps two days later against Cleveland. I haven’t heard anything that would suggest otherwise at this point. Gallo says he's a fast healer, so let’s hope that is indeed the case.

A-Lo:

Will there be a trade in Denver?
- Johnny, Wurzburg, Germany

Johnny:

To borrow a line from a certain singer-songwriter/celebrity point guard, you can never say never.

From Bernie Bickerstaff to Allan Bristow to Dan Issel to Kiki Vandeweghe to Mark Warkentien and Rex Chapman, Denver's front office has never been shy about making a trade.

As we’ve seen in the past 18 months, the new leadership of Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri is very capable of improving the team by any means necessary. In addition to the three-team, 13-player deal a year ago, they added Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez for the low price of a second-round draft pick during training camp.

I think the team’s health and its playoff positioning in the Western Conference will play factors in whether Kroenke and Ujiri go out and make another move before the March 10 trade deadline.

That’s it for this week’s edition of the Mailbag. Don’t forget to watch the Nuggets on Altitude TV and check Nuggets.com for game recaps, videos and feature stories. You can also follow me on Twitter @Lopez_Nuggets.


Aaron Lopez
Aaron J. Lopez is the primary writer for Nuggets.com, providing behind-the-scenes content, including feature stories and video for the site. Before joining the Nuggets in 2009, he spent 15 years covering Colorado sports for the Rocky Mountain News and the Associated Press, making him one of the longest-tenured sports writers in Denver. Aaron's full bio...