With the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, there’s a flurry of rumors and trades happening around the Denver Nuggets. Where should they wade in?
Let’s just dispel this right off the bat, they shouldn’t. The Denver Nuggets can benefit more from standing pat and getting healthy and rested than bringing in a retread from another team.
I mean, I get it, local blog spots have goals and deadlines and page views that they are responsible to. One of the biggest, if not the biggest driver of views is rumors, specifically trade rumors.
So, from that standpoint, it’s perfectly acceptable when locals propose the Nuggets trade all of their depth for Anthony Davis or give up a core player for Bradley Beal or Otto Porter. The thing is, Tim Connelly and Michael Malone have been building this roster for four years. By jettisoning Wilson Chandler, Darrell Arthur and Kenneth Faried this past offseason, Denver’s roster is finally what TC and Malone envisioned for this team. They are very young but they are also incredibly talented.
This roster is built to test the convention that you have to have five superstars to compete. You don’t, you need one superstar, two stars and a phenomenal set of rotation players. The Nuggets have exactly that, maybe more. The emergence of Malik Beasley and Monte Morris give Denver four stars with Beasley, Morris, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray and one superstar in Nikola Jokic.
The Nuggets have an embarrassment of riches and it’s tempting to view that depth through the lens of trade possibilities but what has the Nuggets atop the Western Conference is their stubborn insistence on doing things their way. Let the other teams scramble and scuttle their rosters to rent AD for 4 months. How far this Nuggets team goes, it will go with this roster.
Once you eliminate players the Nuggets can’t have, players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry, you’re left with a tier of players available that are not better than what Denver already has. For example, back when Jimmy Butler was putting on his show in Minnesota, trade speculation for the Nuggets was all the rage from certain outlets. Knowing what we know now about Malik Beasley, would anyone still favor a trade for the disruptive Butler? Is there a player out there that fits this roster, is available and is worth a player the Nuggets already employ? No, there is not. So, what should Denver do leading up to the All Star game?
Here are some ideas: