The Denver Nuggets are reportedly in the market for a wing player at the 2022 NBA trade deadline, willing to part with their next available draft pick to bring in the right player.
According to Mike Singer, The Denver Post, the Nuggets have shown a willingness to include their next available draft pick in a move for a defensive-minded wing:
"“The major obstacle they’ve run into has been their available trade chips and, specifically, the aggregate contracts they’d use to acquire such a defender, one source said. The goal, with next season in mind as well, has always been to land a player who wouldn’t be just a rental.“Given how hamstrung the Nuggets are in terms of their flexibility, they’ve even signaled a willingness to discuss their 2027 first-round pick, according to a source. Whether that might land one of their 3-and-D targets is unclear, but it’s an indication of how aggressive the Nuggets are trying to be ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.”"
As outlined by Nugg Love, the Denver Nuggets can only trade their next available draft pick at this year’s deadline. They own their 2022 first-round pick but it can’t be moved until draft day.
On top of bringing in premium talent, Singer reported that the organization has shown an urgency to act while Nikola Jokic is in his prime.
To bring back any substantial player, the Denver Nuggets would almost have to include JaMychal Green’s $8.2 million salary in tandem with Facundo Campazzo’s expiring deal.
When writing about three trade targets on the wing ahead of the 2022 NBA trade deadline, Nugg Love pinpointed three likely options including Terrence Ross, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Robert Covington. The latter has been dealt to the LA Clippers a few days ago and can’t be re-traded this early, while the other two are still on the market.
One key name to keep an eye on will be Terrence Ross. For the money to work, Denver would only need to trade Green plus one of Facu or Vlatko Cancar.
Ross has struggled to shoot the ball this season for the Orlando Magic but as a rebuilding team, there is little-to-no motivation for the veteran. Playing next to Jokic and in the hunt for a top-four seed in the West, there’s a world in which Ross gets back to his previous shooting numbers. As outlined in the article:
"“We’ve seen some players make a living while playing next to Jokic and career-highs across the board for Aaron Gordon this season is more proof of the bump. Ross would even be coming from the same team as AG.“Being under contract for a season after this one, Ross would help the Nuggets for the remainder of this season, adding spacing to a team that needs it badly but also sliding right in as the starting small forward both this season and next.”"
If Denver doesn’t want part with their (likely) 2027 first-round pick for a player at Terrence’s age, there are several under-the-radar candidates out there like Aaron Nesmith, Josh Green, Max Strus, and more.
If the Nuggets are happy to part with their own first-round pick, the team might be better off aiming higher. A package with their 2027 first, Bones Hyland, Zeke Nnaji, and salary (Green, Will Barton, or some combination) could rival some offers out there for the bigger name targets.
There isn’t long now until the NBA trade deadline and we’ll soon see what Tim Connelly and the Denver Nuggets have planned, if a deal does materialize.