The NBA trade deadline is one of the most exciting and stressful dates during the second half of the season. Teams can drastically alter the rest of their respective years with a single move, and the moves that they make (or don’t make) will be analyzed and questioned for many years after.
The Denver Nuggets are in an intriguing position. They currently hold a 1.5 game advantage in the race for the 8th seed in the Western Conference, and both management and the coaching staff have expressed an interest in making the playoffs. That being said, the 25-31 record the Nuggets currently own doesn’t place them in the same tier as the seven teams ahead of them. The Oklahoma City Thunder are a full 6.5 games ahead of the Nuggets at 32-25. The Nuggets are closer to the 15th seed in the West (7.5 games) than they are the 6th seed (8 games), and it’s clear that even if Denver makes the playoffs, they aren’t quite a part of the same tier.
That’s what makes the trade deadline so interesting for the Nuggets. They already made a move to acquire Mason Plumlee, a center with more experience than the player they sent out in Jusuf Nurkic. When the team gets healthy, players like Emmanuel Mudiay, Jamal Murray, and Juancho Hernangomez will be young players that may not play as much as their potential suggests they should for a rebuilding squad. That being said, a playoff team would be comfortable playing Jameer Nelson, Will Barton, Wilson Chandler, and Darrell Arthur over the aforementioned young players.
The Nuggets may not even make a move at the deadline, but if they do, Denver Stiffs wants its commenters to predict the move! This thread will be all about predicting the exact move (or moves) that the Nuggets make before the deadline. A few rules:
- Every player is available to be dealt, even Nikola Jokic. Just don’t expect that prediction to be correct!
- The trade must be cleared by the NBA Trade Machine or RealGM’s NBA trade checker.
- Draft picks can be included, but not in consecutive years. A swap can be factored in as well, just don’t pull a Brooklyn Nets.
- Trades can be as outrageous or as realistic as possible, but remember, this is a prediction.
- Have fun with it but be respectful!
I will start with my prediction. Keep in mind, this is in no way a reported offer on the table. These thoughts are all my own and relate in no way to what the Nuggets front office is actually thinking.
- I believe the Nuggets will set out to find an upgrade in the backcourt or on the wing. Big names like Paul George and Jimmy Butler could be had for a major haul, and the Nuggets could call to gauge whether that price is something they are willing to pay.
- I don’t think those talks will actually come to fruition, in which case, Denver will begin to have more interest in moving Danilo Gallinari. Gallo’s contract involves a player option, and with the contract Denver is ready to offer to Plumlee, along with the young players Denver will have to sign soon, I don’t know if they are willing to give Gallo the contract he deserves. Teams I would watch out for are Oklahoma City, Boston, Toronto, and the LA Clippers, as they all have playoff aspirations and would be willing to give up some assets.
- I believe the Nuggets will eventually send Danilo Gallinari and a second round pick (via OKC) to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Andre Roberson, Alex Abrines, and Kyle Singler, plus a 2022 first round pick. Each of the three players in return has his merits, but Roberson is the main prize.
Alright, now it’s your turn! Post your trade predictions in the thread below!