Grading Denver Nuggets trade targets from no-brainer to must-avoid

Will the Nuggets make a move before the deadline?

Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Monte Morris
Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Monte Morris / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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No-brainer trade target: Dennis Smith Jr.

Dennis Smith Jr. is the third Net on this list, but that's a coincidence. The 26-year-old is averaging 7.3 points and 4.0 assists per game in his first season in Brooklyn. He's a quick, good defender who would be a nice option for the Nuggets off the bench.

He's on a one-year, $2.5 million deal, so he'll be an unrestricted free agent over the summer. He'd be a low-cost trade option for Denver and wouldn't cost much to retain. The holdup would be whether or not the Nets want to move off from him. Brooklyn should be sellers at the deadline, but could be buyers.

Not a must-avoid, but not a no-brainer trade target: Monte Morris

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported that Denver has considered reuniting with Monte Morris, who was traded by the Nuggets in 2022 as part of the Kentavious Caldwell-Pope deal. Morris dealt with a quadricep strain to begin the season and didn't make his debut until Jan. 24.

The biggest bonus about a Morris trade would be that he wouldn't negatively impact the championship chemistry that the Nuggets have built. He's in the final season of the three-year deal he signed with Denver and will be an unrestricted free agent in a few months.

Morris wouldn't be a bad option for Denver, but how much of an upgrade over Jackson would he really be? As for the former Mr. Nugget, he'd likely rather be part of the winning culture he helped build in Denver than be on the NBA's worst team in Detroit.

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