Could the Denver Nuggets make a move for Toronto’s pieces?

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Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball as Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets defends during the third quarter at Amalie Arena on 24 Mar. 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball as Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets defends during the third quarter at Amalie Arena on 24 Mar. 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Denver Nuggets: Is Fred VanVleet the ideal backcourt pairing for Jamal Murray?

Fred VanVleet does a lot of similar stuff to Jamal Murray and has proven he can excel next to another scoring ball handler in Kyle Lowry. Could he play a similar role next to Murray when he returns from injury?

With the Raptors right up against the hard cap, it’s too hard to send back more salary than the Nuggets would receive in a possible deal, so the best way to get a FVV trade done would be one of Will Barton or Aaron Gordon plus a young prospect and picks (hey! I’m seeing a pattern here).

If the Raptors are going the route of clearing house and parting ways with their established players, FVV might draw the least amount of trade interest. This isn’t because he’s a bad player, but behind a scoring and defensive forward, Fred’s skillset is the least needed of the trio for contenders.

This could work in favor of the Denver Nuggets who, after trading away Gary Harris, don’t have a definite second guard to start next to Jamal in 2022-23. At the moment it’s a toss-up between Barton and Monte Morris, both of who might be best suited coming off the bench.

Out of all three of the Raptors veterans who might be on the trade block this coming season, VanVleet is the most likely to end up on the Nuggets and it’d be a beautiful backcourt pairing. FVV can hit open threes as well as create his own and having two dynamic scoring guards running around Nikola Jokic in the post would be near-impossible for defenders to stop.

But for the Raptors to accept a Nuggets offer, it’d take one of two things: either Fred signals he wants to be in Denver, unlikely, or the Nuggets throw in some very distant draft picks that have the possibility of being very good (I’m thinking 2025 onwards), and it beats out any other offer.

The season is just around the corner and many predict it’ll be a very active trade market. We’ll soon see where all the chips fall come the 2021 trade deadline. Will the Denver Nuggets be active or will they hold out, waiting for a healthy Jamal Murray to make major roster decisions?

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