The Denver Nuggets are climbing right now after a 136-100 beatdown of the Milwaukee Bucks on the road at Fiserv Forum to nab their fifth straight victory and push themselves into the top-five in the Western Conference standings.
Despite this recent run, Denver may need a piece or two more to complete their championship pie. Guard play has come under the watchful eye of Mile High Basketball fans after seeing Jamal Murray go down with injury and head coach Michael Malone lose what hair he has left dealing with the inconsistencies of Facu Campazzo and Austin Rivers.
Ahead approaches the NBA trade deadline and a chance to add to the pot of talent the Nuggets have stirred up in recent weeks, including names like DeMarcus Cousins and Bryn Forbes being mixed in with Denver’s traditional talents Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon that they’ve been leaning on.
Names like Dejounte Murray, Ben Simmons, and Caris LeVert have either reportedly been on the trade block or seem attainable via trade. These names have surely piqued the interest of Nuggets faithful in the hopes that one of these could be the thread that ties the Nuggets’ roster together on the way to a Larry O’Brien Trophy.
I’ll run through my case for trading for each of these players at the 2022 NBA trade deadline.
Denver Nuggets big-name trade targets: Dejounte Murray
Dejounte Murray is multifaceted and offers a variety of skills that the Denver Nuggets covet, including the ability to score, pouring in 29 points last Friday in a win against Chicago.
Murray sees the court well and offers burst and finish that Denver would welcome as they search for scoring in Jamal Murray’s absence. Also, the aforementioned Dejounte trails the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic for eighth among double-double leaders in 2022, offering up potential for added value on the court when both are teamed together.
Murray works well with others, and after seeing how far Jokic has been able to take Aaron Gordon’s game, it makes fans wonder what he could do with Murray. With ten or more assists in his past six games, Murray is proving he could feed scorers like Forbes, Gordon and Will Barton with ease, and has shown tenacity at both ends of the court this season.
The 25-year old Murray has shown All-Star flashes this year, and his game mirrors that of De’Aaron Fox. His ability to facilitate offers intrigue at the trade deadline, and it would likely come down to picks in order to land the shooting star guard.
Considering Denver’s play of late, they may be satisfied with what they’ve done and who they have so far, but maybe another guard in Philadelphia could bring Denver what Murray can’t, and at a different cost.