NBA Draft tidbits are starting to trickle in from the major news outlets, and on Tuesday morning, Marc Stein sent out the first major “draft movement” tweet for 2017’s major event.

There are a few reasons why Denver Nuggets fans should find this interesting. The first is that at this current time, the Nuggets are selecting 13th overall. The Detroit Pistons at 12 have their own draft needs, but if head coach and general manager Stan Van Gundy decides that a veteran player will help the Pistons more, Denver could be dealing with a different team in front of them. Depending on who the Nuggets are targeting in the draft, that may change if a new team is drafting before them.

The second reason is that the Nuggets could actually satisfy the needs that the Pistons have in a trade. Denver holds various veteran players on tradable contracts that may or may not be involved in future plans. Players like Wilson Chandler, Will Barton, Darrell Arthur, and even Jameer Nelson could be potential additions for a Pistons team that wants to make the playoffs next season.

The Pistons are generally set at the shooting guard and center positions with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (though he is a restricted free agent) and Andre Drummond. Both would seem to be foundational pieces that the Pistons don’t want to alter. What might need to change is the point guard and at least one forward position. The Reggie Jackson experiment failed spectacularly last season, and while he doesn’t necessarily fit in Denver, it’s possible that the Pistons would like a change. Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, and Jon Leuer were the forwards, and while each has their own benefits, only Harris projects as a quality starter on a playoff team in my eyes.

Because of this, there are potential opportunities for the Nuggets and Pistons to strike a deal for the 12th overall pick, something that would provide the Nuggets with an advantage in making other moves around draft time. The two deals I would explore with both teams both involve Wilson Chandler, as he makes the most sense in a move to Detroit. Chandler is actually from the Detroit area, so it’s more likely that both parties would sign off on a deal.

Trade 1:

Nuggets receive: Jon Leuer, Boban Marjanovic, 12th overall

Pistons receive: Wilson Chandler, one of Emmanuel Mudiay or Jameer Nelson

Unless the Pistons want to relinquish Tobias Harris in a deal, the two largest contracts that the Nuggets should consider taking on are Jon Leuer and Boban Marjanovic. Leuer has three years and about $30 million remaining on his contract, while BOBAN has two years and $14 million remaining. Neither contract is debilitating, and Leuer would serve as a quality power forward option off the bench. BOBAN would also serve as insurance for an insane contract offer to Mason Plumlee in the offseason. Acquiring the 12th overall pick would be big for a Nuggets team that would benefit from trading up in this draft. A team like the Orlando Magic or New York Knicks would benefit from trading down and receiving two late lottery selections back-to-back.

From the Pistons point of view, acquiring Chandler means acquiring the right power forward for the Stan Van Gundy system. Harris would start next to him, and Marcus Morris would serve as the backup at both forward positions, increasing the quality of play overall. Detroit would also acquire either Jameer Nelson, a former Stan Van Gundy point guard, or Emmanuel Mudiay, a high ceiling pick and roll threat.

Trade 2:

Nuggets receive: Jon Leuer, Jeremy Lin, 12th overall

Pistons receive: Wilson Chandler, Will Barton, Jameer Nelson

Nets receive: Reggie Jackson

Here, the Brooklyn Nets are roped in and acquire an upgrade at point guard, going from Jeremy Lin to Reggie Jackson, a player with a higher ceiling. The Pistons are able to get out of two long term contracts this way, acquiring short term pieces in Chandler, Barton, and Nelson to help the team compete in the East. The Nuggets acquire Leuer and the 12th pick, but they also acquire a veteran backup point guard in Lin, possibly the perfect situation for Jamal Murray. It would continue to give Denver the opportunity to trade up in the draft, but if not, Denver could select their favorite prospects at that point.

Both trade options at this point would be stretches, and it’s possible that the Pistons acquire another veteran option that they deem to be a better fit. Still, Denver should explore options that help them get closer to the core that they want long term, and acquiring a late lottery pick that couples with their own would be the first step in snagging the RIGHT player in this draft. Denver has options, and taking advantage of Detroit’s desire to make the playoffs quickly would be an excellent option itself.

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