Nuggets Looking to Make Trades
The NBA’s trade deadline is nearly two weeks away, so expect to hear plenty of rumors between now and Feb. 19 (especially after All-Star Weekend, where a lot of discussions happen since everyone around the league is in one place).
One team that has been mentioned quite a bit recently is the Denver Nuggets, and their general manager Tim Connelly even told the Denver Post that he is being “very, very aggressive right now” on the trade front.
Rival executives say that the Nuggets would love to add a star player between now and the deadline. They were linked to Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets recently and they’d be open to packaging some of their assets together if it allowed them to land a star-caliber player. Denver has been searching for a blockbuster move like this for quite some time, even attempting to trade for Kevin Love last offseason before he was dealt from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nuggets haven’t had a star since they traded Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks in 2011.
While landing a star player seems to be a priority for Denver, that’s obviously easier said than done. If they can’t bring in a top-notch player that they can build around, league sources say Denver seems willing to trade off some of their veteran pieces for first-round picks. This lines up with their decision to trade Timofey Mozgov to the Cavaliers in a deal that landed them two first-rounders.
A number of teams have expressed interest in Wilson Chandler, including the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. It’s believed that Denver wants a first-round pick back in any deal involving Chandler.
The Clippers have been looking for help on the wing (they even tried to trade for Jeff Green before he landed with the Memphis Grizzlies), so it’s no surprise that they’re interested in Chandler. It’s unclear what they’re offering, as they don’t have many trade assets.
The Blazers like Chandler and believe he would bolster their roster for a playoff push. As I recently wrote about, many teams in the Western Conference are looking to make moves in what has become an arms race. So far, the Dallas Mavericks have landed Rajon Rondo, the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Dion Waiters, the Grizzlies added Jeff Green, the Houston Rockets acquired Corey Brewer and Josh Smith, the Phoenix Suns brought in Brandan Wright.
Chandler is attractive to teams since he’s playing well – averaging 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds – and his contract is a bargain. He’s set to earn just $7,171,662 next year and only $2 million of that is guaranteed. Denver knows that he’s coveted and won’t trade him for the sake of trading him. They want a nice offer in return, and could wait until the summer if they feel like they could get more for him then.
In addition to Chandler, the Nuggets have a number of other veteran pieces who could be on the move before the deadline including Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, J.J. Hickson, JaVale McGee, Randy Foye and Darrell Arthur among others.
With Denver currently struggling at 19-30 and clearly out of the playoff race, rival executives are very interested in prying away some of those veterans. Keep an eye on the Nuggets over the next two weeks because they’re looking to make moves, as Connelly said, and they have the assets to wheel and deal.
Could Taj Gibson Be On the Move?
Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls could be on the move, according to a report by Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
He says that the Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons and Portland Trail Blazers are among the teams to express interest in Gibson.
“In recent weeks, he has not played with the type of energy for which he has been known, and there has been speculation that he is frustrated with the addition of Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol (though his playing time has not changed much),” writes Deveney.
This season, Gibson has averaged 11 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 28.5 minutes per game with the Bulls. It’s possible that Chicago could be looking to move Gibson to strengthen another part of their rotation, since their frontcourt is so deep.
Gibson has two more years under contract after this season, as he’s set to earn $8,500,000 next year and $8,950,000 the following year.
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