5 Trades to fill Denver Nuggets’ biggest hole

Denver Nuggets, Michael Malone. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Nuggets, Michael Malone. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Denver Nuggets are looking to make it back-to-back championships. Nikola Jokic is the best player in the world, and the franchise has not been shy about trying to build a dynasty. With Jokic leading their charge, the Nuggets will be among the title favorites no matter who else is on their roster.

Denver faced questions about their depth to begin the year after the departures of Bruce Brown and Jeff Green in free agency. Their top five in postseason minutes from last season are back, but Christian Braun is the only returning trusted bench option. Payton Watson has impressed in the early going, but the Nuggets could use one more player.

They do not have a first-round pick to trade, but Denver can use their second-rounders to search for some bench depth. The Nuggets want to maximize their title odds and that means adding a piece before February’s deadline.

5. Monte Morris returns to the Nuggets

Denver drafted Morris in the second round in 2017. He worked his way into a backup point guard role and played 21.4 minutes per game primarily off the bench in their 2020 run to the conference finals. Morris offers some scoring, playmaking, floor spacing, and familiarity with the Nuggets system. He can play 20 minutes per game in the postseason when Denver needs him most.

The Pistons are headed toward the lottery, and Monte Morris has yet to play this season because of a quad injury. The 6’2 guard should be back in short order and would provide the Nuggets with some depth in the backcourt if they make this trade.

The Nuggets traded Morris to get Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and would have to view him as an upgrade over Reggie Jackson. Vltako Cancer is out for the season after tearing his ACL this summer and Justin Holiday has barely played. Morris is ready to handle postseason minutes and could play a key role in another deep run.

The Pistons would likely settle for two second-round draft picks in return for Monte Morris, and the Denver Nuggets would be ecstatic to land another quality rotation piece.