The Denver Nuggets were busy on the day of the National Basketball Association trade deadline and rightfully so. The underachieving Nuggets enter Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks with a dismal record of 20-33. Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly was busy Thursday morning, shipping off two players.
Denver started off the morning by trading shooting guard Arron Afflalo to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver. Not to mention, Denver acquired a lottery-protected first-round pick. Alonzo Gee was also added into the trade, going to the Blazers. Here’s more from ESPN on the first-round pick:
"The first-round pick sent to the Nuggets is lottery-protected in 2016 and 2017. It becomes two future second-round picks if the Blazers miss the playoffs in each of those seasons."
Last but not least, Denver finally got rid of JaVale McGee. What a disaster of a trade that was for the athletic big-man. Denver originally traded Nene for McGee in a three-team trade back in 2012. Denver went strictly for potential and it backfired.
Nov 3, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee (34) warms up prior to the game against the Sacramento Kings at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver traded McGee and a first-round pick (Thunder’s 2015 first-rounder) which they acquired back in the deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Timofey Mozgov. Here are the details on Oklahoma City’s first-rounder via ESPN:
"That pick is top-18 protected, and if it rolls to next year it would be lottery protected"
No harm done for the Nuggets. By trading McGee to the 76ers, Denver shed nearly $12 million the following season. Also, Denver created a $11.2 million trade exception by trading the injury-prone center.
Overall, I’m pleased with the moves Tim Connelly made at today’s trade deadline. However, Denver clearly wanted way too much for swingman Wilson Chandler. Denver reportedly asked for two first-round picks after trading Mozgov earlier in the season for the same price. I believe Chandler is worth a first-round pick myself, but not two. I could say the same for Mozzy, but Cleveland was desperate after Anderson Varajeo went down with a season-ending injury.
Portland was also interested in Chandler’s services, but I personally believe Afflalo is and will be the better fit for their club.
I was hoping Chandler would be involved in a deal, as I see his future in Denver is bleak. But seeing McGee shipped was a pleasant surprise, even if it means losing a first-round pick. The move clears nearly $12 million in cap for the following season.
Overall Grade: B+