4 players the Denver Nuggets should target in a Zeke Nnaji trade

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Now that the Nuggets have finally started to sign free agents, the roster is taking shape. This offseason has been slow and disappointing for many fans, but by drafting DaRon Holmes II, signing Dario Saric, and re-signing Vlatko Cancar, the Nuggets have done a nice job of building out their frontcourt depth. Throw in an expected bump in minutes for Peyton Watson and the Nuggets should have a pretty strong forward and center rotation.

But these moves have also created a bit of a logjam that leaves very little room for Zeke Nnaji. Zeke fell out of the rotation last season and the offseason moves suggest that the team has lost faith in Nnaji’s ability to carve out a role with the team.

That’s certainly a shame as the Nuggets had high hopes for Nnaji, but it’s made even worse by the fact that they gave him an extension last offseason which kicks in this season and lasts for four seasons. Nnaji will make $8.8 million next season to likely not even factor into the Denver rotation.

The Nuggets need to trade Zeke Nnaji

Hindsight is 20/20 but that’s a tough contract and a brutal use of resources by the Nuggets. Given the current roster, it would make a ton of sense to actively shop Nnaji and see if they can turn him into a useful player who can actually help the team - ideally a guard or a wing who can handle and/or shoot.

A huge issue making a Nnaji trade more difficult is the Nuggets’ lack of tradeable draft picks. As it stands, they can only send out their 2031 first-round pick, which is an asset they are likely (and correctly) hesitant to part with - especially not to simply dump Nnaji’s contract.

Sure, the team could dangle the pick and even attach some young players to Nnaji in an attempt to go big-game hunting to an extent, but that seems unlikely. Realistically, they’ll probably try to swap Zeke for a veteran who can contribute off the bench and fill a need.

For the sake of this exercise, we’ll focus on one-for-one trades where the Nuggets would send out Nnaji and bring back a single player. The key is identifying rebuilding teams who may be willing to get a look at the 23-year-old Nnaji and give him extended minutes who also has a veteran who may not serve a purpose for that team.

The list of names who fit that mold isn’t the most inspiring group of players, but they are guys who could give the Nuggets rotation minutes this season - something Nnaji seems very unlikely to do. Here are four realistic players the Nuggets should target in a trade for Zeke Nnaji.