Who is your No. 1 target for the Nuggets in the trade market?
Jeremy Poley (@JeremyPoley): Robert Covington
Daniel Lewis (@minutemandan): Dillon Brooks
Gage Bridgford (@GbridgfordNFL): Davis Bertans
Ryan Blackburn (@NBABlackburn): Robert Covington
What is the biggest weakness on the roster to address via trade?
Poley: The Nuggets are done upgrading overall needs. Now it comes down to matching up against the Los Angeleses. The 2nd best defense in the NBA needs to upgrade wing defense even further.
Lewis: Size on the wing. While Murray isn’t small for his position, Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, and Gary Harris are. If they could add a player over 6’7” and 200 pounds, I think that would make a huge difference.
Bridgford: The Nuggets need shooters. They have a lot of guys that, when they’re hot, they can shoot the lights out. The problem is that they don’t have anybody that are always hot. Teams can build leads on them in a hurry because they don’t have the shooters to stop a run or make one of their own.
Blackburn: There must be somebody who can spend significant time in a playoff series on LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, or Paul George. Without that player, all of the discussions on Denver’s championship prospects are all for naught. Barton has been excellent on like-sized players, but small forwards that outweigh him by 40-50 pounds and are two inches taller are outside his scope as a defender.
Will any of the players on expiring contracts get traded?
Poley: Malik Beasley
Lewis: I would not be surprised to see Malik Beasley get traded.
Bridgford: Malik is the obvious one, but, if they were to need salary filler, a guy like Mason Plumlee could make some sense with his high number.
Blackburn: With the Nuggets going with Torrey Craig and Michael Porter Jr. in the rotation last night, it feels like the writing is on the wall for Beasley.
Would you be willing to include Michael Porter Jr. in a trade?
Lewis: If it helped Denver get a star player, absolutely. Porter Jr. could be anything — he could also be nothing.
Bridgford: I’m willing depending on what I’m getting back. I think Denver is close to title contention, but I also think they’re one or so years away. If it’s for a rental, I would pass.
Blackburn: Only if it brought back an All-NBA caliber player. Anything less than that doesn’t really affect Denver’s championship quest. Could a lesser player help Denver? Probably, but not to the level that it significantly impacts Denver’s chances going forward.
Which player in the league is most likely to be traded?
Poley: Kevin Love
Lewis: Andre Iguodala. The Grizzlies won’t buy him out, and he’s being held out to retain value for a trade.
Bridgford: Jae Crowder. Iguodala makes sense, but he has a higher cap number. Crowder is cheaper, and he’s younger.
Blackburn: Andre Iguodala is the guy. He will be traded. Somebody will find a way.
Will there be a blockbuster trade this year?
Poley: Yes. Kevin Love is the Cav’s best player - that counts as blockbuster to me.
Lewis: I don’t think there will be, unless a certain team decides to make a splash (see below).
Bridgford: I think a lot of our major deals are out of the way. I think he’s more modest trade deadline.
Blackburn: I think so. Some team in the East is going to look at the Bucks, realize Eric Bledsoe is their starting point guard, and think they can take down that team with the right personnel. I’ll go with the Heat.
Which Northwest Division team is most likely to make a deal?
Poley: Portland Trail Blazers
Lewis: The Portland Trail Blazers, and I think they might explore trading CJ McCollum. If they decide to move him, that would be a blockbuster trade.
Bridgford: I think it has to be the Portland Trail Blazers because they’re trying to win right now, and they’re the team that’s struggling the most.
Blackburn: The Jazz aren’t the team many expected them to be. They need another guard with Conley not looking great. It wouldn’t surprise me if Portland folded on the season and the Jazz were the team to make a move.
It’s been eleven years since the Nuggets traded Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups. What kind of a move would the Nuggets have to make this year to pull off a trade of that magnitude?
Poley: The whole world knows Dame + CJ = Over. Portland finally joins the party. Nuggets get CJ McCollum. Trail Blazers get Gary Harris & Kevin Love. Cleveland Cavaliers get Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Kent Bazemore’s terrible contract and a first round pick from both teams.
Lewis: I think a trade for a player like Jrue Holiday or Gordon Hayward would qualify for that kind of a trade, and the Nuggets would have to give up players like Gary Harris and Michael Porter Jr., no question about it.
Blackburn: At the time, Melo was considered an All-NBA level player, so it would have to be someone of that caliber that wasn’t happy in their situation. No players of that level really stand out this year. The closest is probably Jrue Holiday, but a guy with more star power is Karl-Anthony Towns.
What’s your most crazy, off-the-wall, fake trade proposal involving the Nuggets? Who says no?
Poley: Something along the lines of trading Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and Monte Morris for Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz. A starting lineup of Jokic, Millsap, Isaac, Harris & Barton is about the scariest defensive lineup that you could ever put around Jokic - and that would be the biggest wall that the Lakers and Clippers could ever imagine having to climb in a 7-game series.
Lewis: Trading Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr., and Malik Beasley for DeMar DeRozan and Derrick White. It would give the Nuggets two bigger players on the perimeter, but they’d be fully committing to being a team that doesn’t shoot 3-pointers often or well. They would really need Jamal Murray and Juancho Hernangomez to excel from behind the arc, or they’d get snuffed on offense.
Blackburn: Trey Lyles and Tyler Lydon for Donovan Mitchell...just kidding. I’m going to pass on this one.