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Paul Pierce thinks the Nuggets should “think about” trading Jamal Murray

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I’m sorry, what?

Denver Nuggets v Milwaukee Bucks

Here’s something to laugh about: today on ESPN’s The Jump, commentator and NBA veteran Paul Pierce said that he thinks the Denver Nuggets should consider trading Jamal Murray.

Pierce argues that the Nuggets are essentially wasting Nikola Jokic’s incredible season so far, saying that “the only reason he (Jokic) won’t get MVP this year is cause their team isn’t going to be top four of the conference, and so if there’s a move out there you can make to vault this team back into the top four I think you got to do it, and that may mean sacrificing Jamal Murray.”

This is not a joke.

It’s true that Murray had a slow start to the season, which was disappointing especially after how amazing he was in the playoffs. But he was/is also battling a litany of minor injuries and as of late has clearly returned to bubble form. Look at his last 10 games:

Jamal Murray Last 10 Games

Minutes Points FG% 3P% FT% REB AST STL
Minutes Points FG% 3P% FT% REB AST STL
36.5 29.7 56.9 51.2 93.0 4.9 5.0 1.2

Plus, the Nuggets are only two games out of fourth place in the West as it stands. They’ve also only played 35 games out of the 72, have won their last three games and demolished the Milwaukee Bucks on the road on the second night of a back-to-back just last night. The jury is 100% still out there on where the Nuggets will end up in the standings, and even without a top four record the case can absolutely still be made for Jokic to win MVP.

The idea that Murray should be considered for trade is absurd, even for Bradley Beal as Pierce mentions. Murray is young and is an elite playmaker alongside Jokic. Just because he hasn’t made an All-Star game yet (in a very stacked Western Conference, I might add) doesn’t mean the Nuggets would be better off without him. Murray’s play has been doubted enough over the years; his bubble performance and recent play should be more than enough to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Besides, the Nuggets aren’t in the business of trying to get Jokic a regular season award, as nice as it would be. It’s all about the playoffs and both Murray and Jokic already have an elite track record there.

Thankfully, both Nuggets alumnus Richard Jefferson and Rachel Nichols were both there to shut Pierce down.