The advantage to the Denver Nuggets bringing Monte Morris back next season is that they can have him compete with their young rookie, Bones Hyland, for the starting job at point guard. Sliding Jamal Murray over to the two spot, and sending Will Barton to the bench. Worst case, they’d be left with one of the more valuable backup point guards the NBA has to offer.
The downside is that with both Hyland and Morris being far below-average defenders, there’s a legitimate argument that neither is suited to be the team’s starting point guard. Particularly if they want to view themselves as a legitimate title contender.
While the Nuggets could just eat the $19 million Morris is owed over the next two years with the hopes that one of the two can step up defensively. That’s still a lot of money to allocate towards a likely backup and money that could be better spent elsewhere. Especially since he’ll be due for a pay raise by 2024.
Which is why another option (albeit far bolder) would be to package Morris in a trade to acquire a better rotational fit or a more team-friendly contract.
For example, the New York Knicks are desperately trying to find their long-term solution at point guard. So, the Nuggets could be able to make a play that would involve sending Morris to New York in exchange for either Immanuel Quickley or Quintin Grimes and a future second-round pick.
Both of whom are solid young defenders, and still on their rookie deals at least until 2024. Though, Denver may need to add Kemba Walker to the trade to sweeten the pot a little bit, which may or may not be worth it.
Another player the Nuggets could look to target is San Antonio‘s Jakob Poeltl. Who is an extremely smart and reliable interior defender, which is certainly something Denver could use more of. Or potentially even Philadelphia‘s Matisse Thybulle, who’s owed just $4.38 million next year and is a renowned perimeter defender.
Truth be told, there are plenty of point guard-needy teams that could emerge as potential trade suitors for the right price. So, this is definitely another direction the Denver Nuggets could go if they’re feeling audacious.