Could the Denver Nuggets make a deal for Malcolm Brogdon?

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 10: Malcolm Brogdon #7 of the Indiana Pacers defends Bones Hyland #3 of the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on November 10, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 10: Malcolm Brogdon #7 of the Indiana Pacers defends Bones Hyland #3 of the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on November 10, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

The Indiana Pacers are looking to trade Malcolm Brogdon as they enter rebuild mode. So, with the Denver Nuggets continuing their moves in the pursuit of a championship, they might want to look at pursuing Brogdon. Especially since NBA insider, Marc Stein, recently reported that a deal could be done “sooner rather than later.

Little is known in regards to where Brogdon will go following the 2022 NBA Draft that took place last week. When the Pacers were unable to deal him away as no team was willing to fulfill their asking price.

It still seems likely that the two teams who could use his services most would be the New York Knicks, assuming the Jalen Brunson deal falls through, or the Nuggets’ recent trade partner, the Washington Wizards. Who need to add more offense and acquire a star that can compete alongside Bradley Beal with the hope of bringing an NBA championship to the nation’s capital.

While the Denver Nuggets are likely too far out of reach, they should certainly enquire about Malcolm Brogdon and make a move if possible. As he would bring more firepower to an already potent offense, making them even more lethal on that end of the court.

The depth at the guard positions looks set following the additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith, but if Brogdon can be brought in, then his scoring would undoubtedly be an asset. Despite only playing in 36 games last year due to injury, Brogdon still averaged 19.1 points and 5.9 assists per game.

Those stats are great to have, and for a team like the Nuggets, who battled injuries of their own last season, it would be a welcome addition to a team one or two pieces away from competing for an NBA title.

If there’s any chance that last season might repeat itself, with Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray either not coming back immediately or worse, getting hurt again. To have a scorer like Brogdon and guards like Bones Hyland and Ish Smith coming off the bench, it could be just enough to make the Nuggets a better team overall.

Moreover, if the Denver Nuggets run into a playoff matchup similar to their 2022 first-round exit against the Golden State Warriors, then there’s a good chance the Nuggets make it more of a series with the addition of a player like Malcolm Brogdon.

Now, the Denver Nuggets acquiring Brogdon is where things start to get tricky, specifically in a few areas:

  1. His Contract – Brogdon’s current deal keeps him on the the team for at least the next three years, and this could be difficult for the Denver Nuggets given their current salary cap situation. Particularly with the team in that pivotal championship window.
  2. The Pacers asking price – Also, Indiana would probably ask for a lot in return and there aren’t any first-round draft picks or current players on Denver’s roster that the Pacers would really be interested in. Since the team already gave away Will Barton and Monte Morris. Outside of Denver’s younger players in Hyland, Zeke Nnaji or one of their 2022 draft picks, Christian Braun, Peyton Watson and Ismael Kamagate. The Nuggets probably wouldn’t be able to match the Pacers asking price.
  3. Injury history – With his recent injuries, the role coach Malone might want for Malcolm Brogdon may require a spot on the bench, which would be hard to ask for a starter and well-known contributor. At 29-years-old, there might be a cap on how long of a window he has to continue performing at an NBA level. Time is ticking and with injuries and talent coinciding on performance, it’s a big risk for the Denver Nuggets to pull the trigger. Even if the team would love to have an aggressive scorer and spot-up shooter like him on the roster. As Brogdon could play off the ball, set up Nikola Jokic and others with open shots, or play a scary three-point game that would rival some of the best scoring teams in the league.

All of this is probably enough for Denver and Nuggets fans alike to pass, particularly after the Jerami Grant trade from three years ago, which feels eerily similar.

While they play different positions, this feels just like when Grant came to Denver in 2019. In that he offered great scoring from the three position and had the potential to create a deadly foursome alongside Jokic, Murray, and Porter Jr. Slotting into the starting rotation alongside Monte Morris to form one of the best starting fives in basketball.

It feels different now without Grant, as it’s hard to have two of your big three out knowing you had a fourth (Grant) waiting in the wings. If he had stuck around, it could’ve been easier to either climb in the standings or make a push further in the playoffs in 2021 and 2022.

Malcolm Brogdon could offer a lot of help and while his career may not be jaw dropping compared to some of his counterparts around the league at his position or from his respective draft class. He’s still an accomplished player who shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Maybe being on a team as close to championship contention as the Denver Nuggets could change how Brogdon is viewed, and help him become a more skilled role player. It could even help him turn back the clock to his Milwaukee Bucks days and be one of the better players on the team.

If Brogdon plays his cards right, he could even make his first-ever All-Star team. It’s worth noting that he’s a former Rookie of the Year, first team All-Rookie in 2017 and an exclusive member of the 50-40-90 club in 2019. He’s gotten better each year and is an incredibly efficient free-throw shooter, field goal shooter and rebounder. All of which are crucial areas that are needed to succeed when the game’s on the line.

To accomplish all of this as a second-round pick, like another certain two-time NBA MVP currently on the Nuggets roster, is further proof that you can make it in the league regardless of where you get selected. Whether you’re a lottery pick or a late second rounder, if you can contribute and thrive, then you can play.

What would a trade look like to Indiana?

The key for the Indiana Pacers would be future first-round picks and maybe a deal that includes youngsters like Braun, Nnaji and maybe a veteran like Jeff Green as well. If they really want to go for it, they can add Hyland to the mix, even though Indiana’s set at point guard.

If the Nuggets can add another team to the trade, then this could help solidify the team while also adding to their defensive needs.

A long shot would be to maybe enquire about players like Luke Kennard or Brandon Boston Jr. from the Los Angeles Clippers. Maybe sign Rodney Hood to a minimum deal and add some 3-and-D depth that coach Malone can find great value in with his current system.

It would certainly be a reach for the Denver Nuggets, and while they may have their eyes set on Brogdon’s former Pacers’ teammate, Victor Oladipo, it wouldn’t hurt to throw their hats into the sweepstakes.

Malcolm Brogdon is a great value player that would fit in their contending window, and one who could be of immediate value. Offering elite production that most teams would crave for.

It’s a long shot, and may not be all that likely, especially considering what they might lose, but if it can help Calvin Booth, then they may want to pick up the phone and see what Indiana is asking for. It might result in the Nuggets making the first big splash in free agency, and helping to solidify their roster in fitting the championship mold, turning them from good to great.

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