The long-awaited trade of Jamaal Tinsley has finally happened, according to the New York Post's Peter Vescey (via Indy Cornrows). Vescey reports Denver has acquired Tinsley in exchange for incumbent back-up point guard Chucky Atkins and limited big man Steven Hunter. The deal is roughly cap neutral for the next two years (Indiana can save some 2009-10 money by cutting Atkins early), but Denver's on the hook for an extra $7 million in 2010-11. That doesn't quite reverse the mood from the Marcus Camby liquidation, but it does quiet the idea the Nuggets are ready to blow everything up.
The interesting thing about the move from Indiana to Denver for Tinsley is that both teams featured a high-octane offense last season. How did Jamaal do? He racked up plenty of assists ... but shot at a simply awful clip and piled up buckets of turnovers. He was certainly a nominee for the All Bad Starter Team. Denver really needs someone to a) bring the ball up with wasting time or losing it, b) get the ball to Carmelo Anthony or Allen Iverson, and c) deliver some easy buckets (hopefully by way of dunk) to Nene and Kenyon Martin. Atkins was more of a shooter than a playmaker; Tinsley needs to never shoot ever for this to work out. (Seriously, Tinsley is one of the worst shooters of the last decade who has had a steady job.) Anthony Carter started for Denver much of last season, but I imagine Tinsley will have the gig on reputation alone.
Atkins almost certainly doesn't figure into Indiana's plans, and Hunter should be used like a relief pitcher, in there to block shots only when necessary. The real prize is losing Tinsley, who reportedly had a falling out with coach Jim O'Brien last season and never did enough on the court or in the locker room to make up for it. Indiana didn't need to get an asset back -- saving a year of salary is worth the split.