Nuggets Acquire Najera, Flores, First-Round Pick From Warriors
DENVER, February 24 -- The Denver Nuggets have acquired F Eduardo Najera, G Luis Flores and a future first-round draft pick from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for F Rodney White and F Nikoloz Tskitishvili, team General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe announced today.
“This move helps us in many ways,” said Vandeweghe. “I’ve known Eduardo from my time with the Mavericks and I know what a tireless worker he is. He brings energy every single day. Luis is an intriguing young player who adds depth to our backcourt, and we were also able to add another first-round draft pick. We want to thank Rodney and Skita for all they’ve given us the last few years and wish them the best of luck in the future.”
Najera, 6-8, 240, has appeared in 42 games this season, averaging 4.2 ppg and 2.8 rpg. Originally the 38th overall pick of the 2000 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets, he played his first four seasons (2000-04) with the Dallas Mavericks. He has played in 250 career games, averaging 4.8 ppg and 3.7 rpg. He has also appeared in 39 career playoff games, posting averages of 4.8 ppg and 3.1 rpg.
Flores, 6-2, 200, has played in 15 games this season, averaging 2.1 ppg. The rookie scored a season-high eight points against the Nuggets on Feb. 5 and has shot .481 (13-27) from the field on the year. He was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 55th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and was traded to Dallas on draft night. The Mavericks then traded him to Golden State on Aug. 24.
White has spent the last three seasons in Denver after coming over from Detroit in exchange for Don Reid, Mengke Bateer and a future first-round draft choice on Oct. 1, 2002. The fourth-year player re-signed with the Nuggets prior to this season and saw action in 42 games, averaging 5.6 ppg and 1.8 rpg. In 186 career games with the Nuggets, White averaged 7.7 ppg and 2.4 rpg.
Tskitishvili was drafted by the Nuggets with the fifth overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft. He played in 23 games this season, averaging 1.5 ppg and 1.3 rpg. He appeared in 143 games for the Nuggets in his three-year career, posting averages of 3.2 ppg and 1.9 rpg.
George Karl Quotes
On the trade:
"We get better. We didn’t have a desire to push anything crazy."
"Najera gives us something we didn’t have – a hustle guy, an energy guy. He knows his role. We also get a first round pick and that is an asset. I thought that in both the Atlanta and Charlotte games last week, we needed an energy guy. We were a little beat up and a little fatigued. I’ve seen Najera help Dallas win games. Not only regular season games, but playoff games."
On White and Skita:
"I think they’re both NBA players, but I’m too conservative right now to go that deep in the rotation. We need to win 70% of our remaining games. I feel if a guy is not going to get an opportunity, then I’d like to give him an opportunity somewhere else."