Lakers legend sounds off on Denver Nuggets trade deadline plans

Michael Porter Jr. Denver Nuggets.
Michael Porter Jr. Denver Nuggets. / Harry How/GettyImages

The NBA's trade deadline is just over two weeks away and the Denver Nuggets are in a three-way tie for first place in the Western Conference. Their title defense has gone just about as well as possible considering that Jamal Murray missed several games with a hamstring injury.

Denver's squad is looking solid and likely doesn't need any tweaks before the deadline. Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson would agree. He made his feelings on the deadline known in a recent tweet, where he pointed at the Nuggets as a team who should stand pat.

"Looking at the Western Conference, I think the World Champion Nuggets, the Clippers, the Timberwolves, and the Thunder don't need a trade," Johnson said in a tweet. "The Lakers, the Pelicans, the Suns, the Mavericks, the Warriors and the Kings definitely need to make some trades before the deadline!"

The Denver Nuggets are limited in the sort of trades they are able to make

Even if the Nuggets were in a position where they needed to make a trade, they'd be very limited in the moves that they could actually make.

For starters, the majority of the team's salary cap is tied up in their starting five. Murray, Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr., and Kentavious Caldwell Pope all make anywhere from $14 million to $48 million.

Aside from that group, the Nuggets aren't paying any player more than $5 million. It's unlikely that they'd have any interest in moving on from one of their starters. It's also unlikely that any other team would be willing to part ways with any impactful player who makes less than $5 million.

Typically, a contending team like Denver would look to poach players from the buyout market. However, with the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, they would be restricted from doing so due to being over the tax threshold.

The Nuggets would only be able to add players who were bought out from contracts that are worth less than the $12.4 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception.