Some praise is in order for the Denver Nuggets: they had a chance to sign an empty name (a Brian Cook, a Mikki Moore, or a Mark Blount), and instead signed something of a player. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Denver has signed Brian Butch, the reigning D-League All-Star game MVP, for the rest of the season. Butch will also have an unguaranteed salary for next season.
Butch is a decent add, and he’ll provide a different look at center than the Nuggets are used to. He’s not one to attack the basket on the move like Nene, finish around the rim like Kenyon Martin, play clean up like Chris Andersen, or Johan Petro like Johan Petro. Instead, Butch gives Denver a decent rebounder (11.9 RPG for the Jam) and an outside scoring threat (35% from three). Not much else, but hey, what do you expect from mining the big man free agent crop at this point in the season?
Ultimately, Denver picked up a serviceable big, even if he’s the heir apparent to Raef LaFrentz. Butch should be able to provide some decent minutes in the middle while Andersen nurses a sprained ankle. He won’t be tearing up the paint with drop-steps or sweeping hooks anytime soon, but I see little harm in throwing another shooter on the floor (in limited minutes, of course) to help space the court for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
No comment on his ability to protect the rim, though.