It was a very eventful trade deadline for the Denver Nuggets this season, as the team said goodbye to three players and ushered in three new ones. They acquired Aaron Gordon and Gary Clark Jr. from the Orlando Magic in exchange for R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris, and a first round draft pick, and in a separate deal, received JaVale McGee in a trade for Isaiah Hartenstein. It was an exciting day for Nuggets fans, as we finally got to see the team make some moves mid-season in order to put themselves in a better position to advance far into the playoffs.
There are always mixed reactions with trades, however, as it’s tough to see players that you’ve spent a lot of time rooting for suddenly leave for another team. For the players, this sadness is even greater, as they must say goodbye to not only a teammate, but a friend.
Following the trade deadline moves, many players took to social media to share their thoughts. First, there were some immediate reactions from two of the Nuggets’ point guards. Although both tweets were very concise, they were also extremely telling.
Tough day man— Monte Morris (@BigGameTae) March 25, 2021
— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) March 25, 2021
It’s clear that losing a long-time teammate in Harris struck a chord with both Monte Morris and Jamal Murray. This became even more evident when, later in the day, Murray posted a tribute to Harris on his Instagram page.
Will Barton expressed similar sentiments about Harris when he made his own post paying tribute to his former teammate on Instagram.
It seems as though the entire team and organization has nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for Harris and everything he brought to the franchise for seven years. The fact that Harris was one of the first core pieces added to the team during the organization’s rebuilding stage following the end of the George Karl era and the dismantling of the team that won 53 games back in the 2012-2013 season goes to show how long he’s been part of the fold for the team and the city.
Harris expressed many of these thoughts himself when he took to Instagram to show gratitude for the past seven years.
As sad as it is to see Harris leave, it’s truly heartwarming, but not surprising, to see him react with such professionalism and class towards the fans and the organization. Harris will always remember the Nuggets as the team that he spent his first seven seasons with, and the Nuggets and their fans should always remember Harris for his contribution to the rebuild following a tumultuous time for the organization.
As is the case with most trades, as old players say goodbye to their old team, the new players look forward to their new adventure with the team that traded for them. Aaron Gordon paid a similar tribute as Harris did to his former team, the Orlando Magic, while also expressing excitement for joining the Nuggets in Denver.
Now it’s time for the players to gear up for the final stretch of the season. Let’s hope that the trades, as emotional as they were, will pay dividends for the team going forward.