Off-Season Wishlist 1.0: Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are officially in their off-season. Players and coaches are beginning to go on vacation, while the fanbase starts playing hypothetical General Manager (GM). Most of these hypothetical acquisitions are just pipe dreams that fans wish would come true. Nothing more, hence why the actual GMs make the big bucks and the fanbase sticks the social media outlets. “If the Nuggets could trade these players, they could get this one.”
Nevertheless, these hypothetical scenarios are fun and that’s exactly what this article is going to accomplish. This article breaks down three dream acquisitions that would immediately help the Nuggets.
Denver Nuggets: Off-Season Wish List
Which off-Season Acquisition Would Help Push Denver Back to Contender Status?
DISCLAIMER – Please consider the assumptions below when reading these hypotheticals
- Players Involved are not franchise facing guys (Sorry, no Luka Dončić or Damian Lillard trades here)
- The trades are strictly hypothetical, these do not account for the player’s relationship with their current team, this is strictly from a Nuggets need standpoint
- Acquisitions must be financially doable, so signing a free agent to a max deal will not be considered (Kawhi Leonard)
- All trades have been verified using RealGM’s trade machine
Potential Acquisition – 3: Kelly Oubre Jr. via Free Agent Signing
The Denver Nuggets lacked the ability to guard on the perimeter consistently. All the opponents had to do was involve a simple ball screen that would open up the paint for dribble penetration. From there, a two-on-one would create, leaving Nikola Jokić exposed at the rim. While most people think that Jokić’s inability to be an effective rim protector is all to blame, they are overlooking the true issue. That issue is dribble containment and bringing in a player like Kelly Oubre Jr. would immediately help out there.
Oubre Jr. struggled in his first season in Golden State, but frankly, until the second half of the season, the Warriors were not a good team outside of Steph Curry. Nonetheless, once Oubre Jr. found his shot, his athleticism on both ends began to shine. Oubre Jr. would immediately check off some of the Nuggets’ biggest off-season needs. He is a capable 3-D guy who could help with the Nuggets’ dribble containment issue. Plus, he would be another perimeter defender to help alongside Aaron Gordon. Adding that alongside Oubre Jr.’s ability to cut, he could be a viable help for Denver. Just his constant movement will open up passing lanes and help create shooting space for the likes of Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray.
Kelly Oubre Jr. is an unrestricted free agent who recently finished a 2 year / $30 million contract, so if Nuggets can mirror that price tag, he would be a great acquisition for a reasonable price.
Potential Acquisition – 2: Robert Covington Via Trade
The Denver Nuggets have been linked to acquiring Robert Covington a number of times over the past couple of years. The Nuggets love Covington’s defensive versatility, tenaciousness on both ends, and ability to stretch the floor. Unfortunately, they have never been able to successfully reel in Covington, but maybe this “match made in heaven” can actually come together this off-season.
Covington started for the Portland Trail Blazers this past post-season, so the Nuggets got a great look at him for six games. While the Trail Blazers team was basically the Damian Lillard show, Covington still showed his defensive versatility as well as his three-point shot. He provided that lackluster Trail Blazers defense with some defensive help, but overall, his services were overshadowed by the high octane offenses.
Now, why would the Nuggets possibly have a play here to acquire Covington? Well, the Trail Blazers pivoted away from Terry Stotts. Usually, that leads to the blowing up of the team. Therefore, Covington’s services might now be expendable. Especially if the next head coach does not think Covington’s style of play fits the new scheme.
The Nuggets could acquire Covington and get their perfect 3-D wing. He is also capable of guarding 1-4 and even the center position during small-ball lineups. Covington could easily slip into a hybrid shooting guard position within the starting lineup. From there, he would guard the better offensive guard and help out Jamal Murray. Frankly, this is a perfect match that Denver has been looking at for years. Hopefully, this is the time these two parties get together.
Denver Receives: Robert Covington
Portland Receives: Bol Bol, 2022 2nd Round Draft Pick, Cash Considerations
Potential Acquisition – 1: Draymond Green Via Trade
The absolute dream trade scenario for the Denver Nuggets would be acquiring Draymond Green from the Golden State Warriors. Draymond Green continues to cement himself as the Swiss Army Knife of the NBA. His defensive versatility is exceptional as he is not only able to guard positions 1-5, but he can guard all five positions at an All-NBA level.
Green would solidify himself as the Nuggets power forward of the immediate future. Mainly because Aaron Gordon would be the main piece of the trade heading the Warriors. Nonetheless, even with Green being 31, he would still be an impactful player for a number of years. He could help the Nuggets win now and mentor Zeke Nnaji who will receive the torch once Green is done.
Overall, this trade would push Denver to the team to beat out West. The team would have to learn how to mesh on offense as both Green and Jokić play the facilitator role. Though, Jokić could thrive having another solid passer who could effectively get him the ball on the block. However, the defense is where Green’s impact would be felt the most. The Nuggets will finally have a player who can not only help guard on the perimeter but protect Jokić in the paint. Just imagine, the Denver Nuggets face off against the Philidelphia 76ers in the Finals. Jokić gets to work his magic on offense while Green focuses on guarding Embiid. That’s a dream I could very well get behind.
Denver Receives: Draymond Green, Mychal Mulder
Portland Receives: Aaron Gordon, Bol Bol, 2022 First Round Draft Pick
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images