The Denver Nuggets have signed Chris Andersen to a five-year deal. His contract is reportedly worth up to $26 million with incentives.
The Birdman was money for the Nuggets during the playoffs. He was very active on both the offensive and defensive boards. He’s a good finisher — especially with alleyoops. Andersen’s athleticism, length, height and ever-improving timing makes him an intimidating weakside shotblocker. And the Nuggets have missed this type of presence since Marcus Camby left the team.
Andersen is coming off of a career year (which doesn’t say too much). He played 20.6 minutes a game while tallying 6.4 points, and career highs of 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. His numbers were basically identical during the playoffs.
His statistics don’t scream “five-year contract.” But what he lacks quantitatively, he makes up for in other areas. His weakside defensive is a perfect foil to Kenyon Martin’s aggressive man-to-man D. Andersen’s style is also a great change up from the physical Nene Hilario.
The Nuggets must really want to shore up their reserves in the eyes of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups because there’s no other reason to sign a 31-year-old rotation player to a long-term deal.
I have to think that much of this is marketing-driven. Pan shots of the Denver crowd during the playoffs were telling. They love the Birdman in Denver. Almost ever kid they showed had a goofy, gelled-up mohawk going on. Let them have cake because the Birdman is here to stay.