3 Trades to help the Denver Nuggets Become Legitimate Title Contenders

I don’t think any Denver Nuggets fan is really clamoring for the team to make a trade by the league-wide February 21st trade deadline, given the recent play of the team. The Nuggets are rolling as they’ve won six straight, just completed a 12-3 month in January and sit a game out of fourth place in the Western Conference. However the Nuggets are stockpiled with valuable assets and I feel Denver is still one move away from really competing with the top three teams in the west, especially in the playoffs. Below are some trades, that I came up with utilizing ESPN’s NBA trade machine (http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine) and I feel most of them are reasonable moves that could benefit Denver going forward.


Trade #1: Nuggets get – Josh Smith/Hawks get – Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Jordan Hamilton.

I think this would be a great trade for Denver and even a move that would benefit the Hawks. Atlanta has been trying to move Josh Smith for the past few seasons, according to multiple reports, due to his impending free agency this summer and Denver would be a nice fit for him. Smith has averaged 16.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.2 blocks per game this season for the Atlanta Hawks. Smith is a good athlete, who could thrive in the Nuggets transition heavy, up-tempo offense(could you imagine a fast break with Lawson, Iguodala, Faried and Smith…Scary!). He would also add another stout defender to Denver’s starting five, as Smith is a very good shot blocker and very versatile defender, he can defend the 3-5 spots. As we all know by now the Nuggets struggle to score in the half-court, looking flustered and confused sometimes when the game slows down. Smith would give Denver a reliable post presence and someone who can consistently score down on the block, as most if not all of the Nuggets current big men are still developing their post games. The Nuggets would improve defensively and their ability to convert in the half-court offense with this trade, while also adding another dynamic, athletic player who can score in transition. Smith would also bring some veteran leadership to what is still a very young team here in Denver, given the amount of playoff experience he has with Atlanta. For the Hawks, this trade would give them three solid young players who could help speed up the eventual re-building process in Atlanta. Chandler would be a decent replacement for Smith and start at the small forward spot for Atlanta, giving them a good young scorer on the wing, who can stretch the floor, defend well and hopefully be a key building block moving forward. Mozgov would give the Hawks a good, developing young center to put next to Al Horford and Hamilton could thrive in Atlanta, where he would actually get minutes, providing a scoring punch off the bench.


Trade #2: Nuggets get – J.J. Redick/Magic get – Wilson Chandler, Jordan Hamilton, 2nd Rd Draft Pick

The Magic have made it known that they are willing to part with guard J.J. Redick and the Nuggets should inquire about the former Duke star, as he would be the perfect sixth man for the mile high crew. Denver has only hit 34% of their three point attempts this season, which is ranked 27th in the NBA currently. Redick would help cure that problem for the Nuggets, as he is a career 40% three point shooter and has hit 109 three pointers this season, which is fifth most in the league. Denver could desperately use a three point marksman and someone who can space the floor like Redick. Chandler would fill the scoring void that Redick would leave behind fairly easy and potentially even start at the 3 for Orlando, while Hamilton would be a nice scorer to add to the young core that the Magic have built under new GM Rob Hennigan. Redick is having a career year averaging bests in points(15.4), assists(4.4), field goal percentage(46%) and rebounds(2.5) this season for Orlando. Redick would get multiple good looks from three in transition with Denver, while being another pick & roll player George Karl could utilize, he’s a good ball handler and very capable passer. As we all know the Nuggets are a terrible free throw shooting team, shooting 68% from the charity strike this season, which is dead last in the NBA. Another good thing about Redick is he’s a 88% career free throw shooter, which could help fix some of Denver’s free throw woes.


Trade #3: Nuggets get – Derrick Williams, Greg Stiemsma/Timberwolves get – Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov

This is a pretty fair trade for both parties involved, neither team really gets better or worse with this move. Derrick Williams has star potential but, he seems to be on the outs in Minnesota and a change of scenery could help kick start his career. I think Williams would develop into a good player under George Karl, as the Nuggets up-tempo, fast paced offense would fit Williams well. Williams is a really good athlete, who runs the floor well and playing alongside the likes of Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried, Andre Miller and Danilo Gallinari could do wonders for his game. He would add another young, potential filled player to the Nuggets roster as he is only 21 years old and give Denver another perimeter threat(Williams is a underrated shooter, he’s shooting 36% from beyond the arc this season). I really think Williams could become a star and with his new surroundings in Denver, he could very well live up to that potential. Stiemsma would be a quality role player for Denver to add, he’d replace Mozgov just fine giving the Nuggets some toughness up front. Mozgov would reunite with Team Russia teammate Alexey Shved, while playing significant minutes for Minnesota. Chandler on the other hand would give the Timberwolves, a versatile wing scorer who head coach Rick Adelman would probably like and trust a lot more than he has shown to with Williams.


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