When play was halted back in March, the Nuggets were nipping at the Clippers’ heels for the second seed in the Western Conference standings. There’s no question that Mike Malone’s bunch is already a genuine contender in the West, but perhaps they are one significant piece away from being more than that.
What moves could this organization make to allow them to threaten the Clippers and Lakers? Or better yet, are there any potential trades for the Denver Nuggets that could elevate this group into being the betting favorite to win the 2021 NBA Finals?
Let’s have a look at 3 potential trades for the Denver Nuggets in 2020.
Blake Griffin, PF, Detroit Pistons
Blake Griffin is battling injuries, and therefore, his status as an elite power forward is waning. Then again, with enough time to rehab his injured knee, it’s possible Blake could return with a vengeance. Keep in mind, Griffin averaged 24.5 PPG to go along with 7.5 RPG and 5.4 APG as recently as 2018/2019.
The six-time NBA All-Star could flourish in the post alongside Nikola Jokic and give Denver yet another premier passing big man. The question is, how could the Nuggets swing such a deal?
Michael Porter Jr. is a name Detroit would surely covet, as is a talented two-way guard like Gary Harris. Given that Detroit is entering a rebuild and is a team that could draft LaMelo Ball, why not part ways with an aging Griffin?
Rolling the dice on Blake at this stage of his career might not be the most conventual move for Denver to make, but this is Calvin Booth’s first year in charge of the Nuggets’ roster. We’re in uncharted territory.
Kevin Love, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers
Before you roll your eyes wondering how Denver could afford Kevin’s Love $31.2 million salary next season, check this out.
Paul Millsap earned over $30 million this past year but will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the season. Mason Plumlee’s $14 million against the cap comes off the books, and the Nuggets can choose not to extend Jerami Grant, saving them another $9.3 million.
Suddenly, the door is wide open to dial up Koby Altman and see what he wants in exchange for Kevin Love.
As long as the two-man core of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray remains intact, nobody else on this roster is what I would consider indispensable. In fact, relinquishing the aforementioned names allows Bol Bol to slowly be integrated into the rotation. Moving Will Barton and Gary Harris would pave the way for MPJ and Monte Morris to get more minutes.
I get the feeling that Kevin Love would love to get out of Cleveland and play for a contender, and I doubt the Cavs are that excited about paying him top dollar through until the end of 2023.
JJ Redick, SG, New Orleans Pelicans
It’s hard to envision JJ Redick being part of the Pelicans’ plans beyond 2021. Redick will be a 37-year-old UFA in 2021, and the Pels are loaded with young and developing backcourt players.
On the other hand, maybe Redick is that missing link in the Nuggets lineup that I alluded to in the introduction? Denver ranked 25th in the NBA in three-pointers made per game and doesn’t have anyone to rely on in that regard.
That’s where JJ comes in.
Redick doesn’t need the ball in his hands to do damage and is a highly underrated on-ball defender. With as many double-teams as Nikola Jokic draws in the post, being able to kick the ball out to a deadly outside shooter would add another layer to Denver’s offense.
Swapping Will Barton and a future draft pick would likely do the trick.
Who Will the Denver Nuggets Trade for in 2020?
Acquiring Blake Griffin would certainly count as a blockbuster move. Going after Kevin Love is a potential trade for the Denver Nuggets that would also shake up the Western Conference.
With that being said, JJ Redick landing in Denver seems much more plausible.
As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.
Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.