The Denver Nuggets were undoubtedly the second-best team in the West this season. After defeating the Utah Jazz in the first round, they pulled off the biggest upset of the season by knocking out the mighty LA Clippers in the semifinals. Though the Nuggets' future looks promising under Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, recent NBA trade rumors suggest that they can become even more formidable if they land the OKC Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the off-season.
NBA Trade Rumors: Denver Nuggets can compete for the title by adding OKC Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Jamal Murray is 23 years old and Nikola Jokic is 25. While the Denver Nuggets can make deep runs in the playoffs every year, they won't be the title favorites anytime soon because of how stacked the Western Conference is.
Though they can wait for a few more years for Michael Porter Jr. to hit his prime, trading for OKC Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can cut short the waiting time significantly.
According to Bleacher Report's Zack Buckley, Gilgeous-Alexander can be the perfect player next to Murray. The 22-year-old can score, make plays, and defend at the same time. This will take some pressure off of Jamal Murray's shoulders. Talking about the idea of a 'Big 3' in Denver, Buckley wrote:
"Adding Gilgeous-Alexander potentially sets up Denver's Big Three and positions it for sustained success. He's just 22 years old, so the idea of joining him with the 25-year-old Jokic and 23-year-old Murray should terrify the Nuggets' aging competition in the West."
With most teams' superstars now in their 30s, adding the OKC Thunder star along with Murray and Jokic sets the Denver Nuggets up for success in the next decade.
NBA Trade Rumors: OKC Thunder might bet on Michael Porter Jr.'s potential
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the biggest asset on the OKC Thunder, and they will not trade him easily. The Denver Nuggets should include multiple players in the deal, and a trade package including Michael Porter Jr., Monte Morris, and a draft pick might just do the trick.
Even though Gilgeous-Alexander has been much more impressive so far, Michael Porter Jr. has a higher ceiling. Given his height, athleticism, and the ability to shoot from 3, he has the potential to become someone like Kevin Durant in the upcoming years.
The OKC Thunder are in the middle of a rebuild and will not be contending for the title any time soon. If they decide to bet on Porter Jr.'s potential and agree to move Gilgeous-Alexander, it can be a win-win scenario for both the teams.
Published 30 Sep 2020, 00:30 IST