3 Nuggets at risk of being traded this offseason

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Michael Porter Jr.

More realistically, Porter is the player who gets dealt away from the Nuggets. He’s much less essential to what the team does and has a significantly worse contract. Despite being younger, Porter is definitely the less valuable - and frankly worse - player at the moment.

Porter Jr. is a good, but flawed player. He’s a great, if streaky shooter, who uses his length to finish around the basket and rebound. He can put the ball on the floor a little as well. When he has it going, it can look pretty special. 

But overall, he hasn’t lived up to his hype or contract. He hasn’t developed into a reliable defender and if the shot isn’t falling, he can become a bit of a liability to the point he may end up outside the closing lineup. 

That just isn’t good enough for a guy making over $35 million next season and over $38 million the year after. The Nuggets are going to have to pay all of KCP, Gordon, and Murray over the next couple of years, and doing that while paying MPJ is going to be almost impossible.

It would make some sense to get out of the Porter Jr. business sooner rather than later, dumping the contract while it still has some value. Again, Porter is a good player who’s still just 25 and started for a championship team last season.

The Nuggets could either use Porter to go star-hunting, using his contract to pair with picks and young players to try and upgrade the roster with a star who fits better. Or they could simply try to get rid of the contract, perhaps taking back multiple role players who make significantly less money.

Either one of those moves could end up helping the team in the short and/or long term, but it’s unclear what exactly Porter’s trade value would be around the league. But it only takes one team to make a deal, and there could be a team that’s happy to take on a big young wing with proven scoring and shooting chops. 

The contract isn’t a nonstarter, and with his young age, it’s unlikely to age too poorly, especially as the salary cap rises. His $40.8 million salary for the 2026-27 season is only partially guaranteed.