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Arron Afflalo reaches five-year deal with Nuggets

Dec 20, 2011, 1:43 AM EST

Arron Afflalo Getty Images

Quietly, a lot of teams were coveting restricted free agent Arron Afflalo — a shooting guard who plays good defense, can knock down the open three (42 percent last year) and plays smart and within himself. I say quietly because they realized that they were not going to land him — he wanted to stay in Denver and the team was going match any reasonable offer anyway.

In the end, the Nuggets and Afflalo worked out a deal — five years, $43 million, reports Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.

“He’s an asset,” (Nuggets general manager Masai) Ujiri told SI.com on Monday night. “He’s tough. And the way we’re building our team, with good guys and strong guys and guys that are competitive, he has always lived up to it.”

Last week the Nuggets signed Nene to keep another key asset from the team that played surprisingly well — and fantastic team basketball — last year after the Carmelo Anthony trade. The problem is that three other key members of that team — J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler and Kenyon Martin — are still all playing in China. And even when they come back to the NBA from there they will be free agents who could land a lot of places.

There are plenty of questions about Denver, this season and going forward. But inking Afflalo makes them better, whatever the answers.

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