It’s pretty unlikely that the Denver Nuggets would have any interest at all in breaking up their championship core from last season. Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr., and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all thrived in their roles on the way to Denver’s first-ever NBA championship.
However, the league’s new collective bargaining agreement could see the Nuggets get a bit antsy with some of their larger contracts. The CBA will heavily punish teams who overspend, with penalties affecting trades, draft picks, and even free-agent signings.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley recently published an article that featured mock trades for every team’s “worst contract.”
The Nuggets were actually featured as a partner for the San Antonio Spurs, who would hypothetically be looking to offload Devonte’ Graham’s two-year. $25 million deal.
Should the Denver Nuggets trade Michael Porter Jr. to the San Antonio Spurs?
This trade doesn’t make much sense from a Nuggets perspective. Unless they’re deathly afraid of the CBA’s second-apron penalties, there’s no way that Denver would give up Porter Jr. as part of San Antonios’ salary dump.
Sure, that Toronto Raptors pick could wind up being pretty nice. Plus, his contract is lucrative in its own right and he hasn’t had the best history with injuries. But, the former Missouri star still contributed a great deal to the team’s success in their championship season.
He started in 62 regular-season games for Denver, playing about 29 minutes per game. In those starts, Porter Jr. was able to contribute 17.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest while shooting 48.7% from the field and 41.4% from deep.
Of course, Porter Jr. wasn’t as great in the postseason, as his average dropped down to 13.4 points per game on 42.3% from the field and 35.1% from distance.
The Nuggets wouldn’t be getting anything back that’s really worth giving up on Porter Jr., especially considering that he’s locked down for the foreseeable future.
Final grade for Denver Nuggets-San Antonio Spurs trade:
Again, this isn’t something that the Nuggets should pursue. It’s not logical to trade away a 25-year-old who can fill an important role on a successful team.
If there’s one silver lining to the deal, it’s the pair of sharpshooters that’d be heading to the Mile-High City.
Both Bullock and McDermott could fill some valuable minutes for Denver — a team that’s lacking depth at the wing spot. Each of the two Spurs would likely thrive with all of the open looks that they’d get, courtesy of Jokic.
McDermott drilled 41.3% of his attempts from distance last year, and Bullock nailed 38.0% of his.
Porter Jr. was better than both.