Current NBA MVP pushing Denver Nuggets to add former MVP

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game Seven
Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game Seven / C. Morgan Engel/GettyImages

While the Nuggets seem to be sitting on their hands for the most part in the early stages of this transaction cycle, the rest of the league has been loading up. The Thunder have already added Alex Caruso and Isaiah Hartenstein to their rotation, the Mavericks added Naji Marshall and now Klay Thompson, and the T-Wolves traded into the top 10 of the draft to take Rob Dillingham.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the 76ers have added Paul George, the Knicks went all-in for Mikal Bridges, and the Celtics are signing every member of their core to long-term deals. The NBA’s top contenders are loading up on talent and gearing up for title runs while the Nuggets are losing key players like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson.

How can the Nuggets add talent?

Clearly, the Nuggets are biding their time and waiting for the free agency market to settle down before hopefully, targeting veteran role players who can help the team. But one name that has come up is former league MVP Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook opted into his $4 million contract with the Clippers for next season but has reportedly played his last game for the team as they are now looking to trade him. The Nuggets have been rumored to have an interest in adding Russ and that interest is supposedly mutual.

Jokic pushing Nuggets to trade for Westbrook

Now reports are coming out that reigning MVP Nikola Jokic has been pushing for the Nuggets to go ahead and make the deal happen as well. Jokic hasn’t been known to get involved with team-building but now 29, he may realize his window is shrinking and his team is getting worse while the competition gets better.

Another Nuggets veteran, DeAndre Jordan has also been pushing for the team to bring in Westbrook, a close friend of his. Russ is far from a perfect fit, but the Nuggets need talented players who can contribute. Westbrook would fill the backup point guard role and provide much-needed offense and a burst of energy off the bench even at this advanced stage of his career.

How could the Nuggets acquire Westbrook?

Since he opted into his contract, Russ must now be traded. It sounds like the Clippers are willing to work with him to find a trade partner that he likes, so that should help. The Nuggets can deal a couple of small contracts, a bigger one like Zeke Nnaji, or take Westbrook into their TPE created from dealing Reggie Jackson.

A third team could also get involved to send something back to the Clippers, or they could even work out a trade that doesn’t involve the Nuggets. That team could then waive Westbrook, paving the way for him to sign with the Nuggets as a free agent. There are a lot of moving parts, and things are far from settled, but it’s becoming clear, the Nuggets are definitely in on Westbrook - as they should be.