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Productive day for Denver Nuggets at NBA trade deadline

GM Tim Connelly able to add point guard, plus young big man

Aaron Brooks was named the NBA's Most Improved Player in 2009-10.
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

At the NBA trade deadline, the Denver Nuggets had two primary objectives: Find a team for veteran Andre Miller and acquire someone to ease point guard Ty Lawson’s workload when he returns from a rib injury.

General manager Tim Connelly accomplished both, and then some.

In his first year dealing at the deadline with Denver, Connelly acquired proven veteran guard Aaron Brooks from the Houston Rockets in exchange for swingman Jordan Hamilton. The Nuggets also sent Miller to the Washington Wizards for young forward Jan Vesely.

“I’m very happy with the outcome of both of our trades,” Connelly said. “We got better today. We got some guys who want to be here.”

With Lawson still recovering from a fractured rib, backup Nate Robinson out with a knee injury and Miller on leave from the team, the Nuggets were in need of help at the point.

Brooks fits that role perfectly. Now in his sixth NBA season, he is an excellent shooter who has the speed and quickness to create for others. Playing less than 17 minutes per game for Houston this season, he waived his no-trade clause to join the Nuggets.

“That says a lot about what he thinks of our team and what he thinks of himself,” Connelly said. “He’s a very good basketball player with a long track record of success. He’s had some great times in the Western Conference, so we’re excited to have him.”

Connelly is equally excited about Vesely, the sixth overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.

“He gives us size, athleticism and defensive versatility,” Connelly said. “He also has a high basketball IQ and a soccer-player approach to the game. He’s a team-first guy, very passionate. He’s a competitor.”

Both Vesely and Brooks are in the final year of their existing contracts, allowing the Nuggets to evaluate them over the final eight weeks of the season before heading into free agency.

“We were able to free ourselves from some financial obligations for next year, which is huge,” Connelly said. “Flexibility’s certainly important, but we like both guys. We’re here to see how they can help us.”

As for Miller and Hamilton, Connelly wished them well with their new teams.

"Both of those guys helped us win some big games early in the season," Connelly said. "I think they'll benefit from a fresh start."