Denver Nuggets Film Friday: Trade Time

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We are officially less than a week away from NBA Trade Deadline, and league teams are gearing up to take steps to get them ready for their playoffs or next season. The Nuggets find themselves in sixth place in the Western Conference in a close race for playoff positioning. They are only a few games away from fourth place Utah Jazz while being 3.5 games clear of ninth place Los Angeles Lakers. Denver is unlikely to make a big move forward, but there are some options they should consider pursuing at the deadline.

Denver needs to get starting point guard Jamal Murray back as soon as possible, but they still need reinforcements in other places with Michael Porter Jr. likely made for the year with PJ Dozier, who was traded a few weeks ago. . after being lost for the season with a torn ACL. Add to that the fact that the team has yet to get consistent play from anyone other than Nikola Jokic this season, and Denver needs a shakeup.

The main problem for Denver is going to be finding moving parts. MPJ, Jokic, Murray and Aaron Gordon are locked in for the foreseeable future, but what about everyone else? This team is built entirely around this group of four, and, if there are better fits available in the market, Denver should look to pursue them, especially if they are under contract for next season when all their stars are expected. to be in perfect health. .

Wing assist off the bench

Orlando Magic forward Terrence Ross would fit nicely into the Nuggets’ off-the-bench roster, and the team already made a trade with Orlando last year when they acquired Gordon. Now they could be looking to add another wing of their own to bolster their scoring off the bench in a weak position. Denver’s roster is heavy at guard and power forward, but they don’t have a ton of depth on the wing and small forward. For his career, Ross is a career 36.4 percent shooter from 3-point range, and his price is even cheaper this season because he’s shooting just 31.4 percent. However, you can see on games like the one above where Ross knows how to play a simple role in offense as an off-ball shooter who can escape from a screen. Players still need to be able to play with Jokic to work on this list, and Ross fits that bill. However, that’s not all it can do.

The Nuggets bench is often unable to score as they have no one who can create their own shot. Some of that will be toned down when Monte Morris returns to the second unit, but they could use another consistent blueprint maker in that group. Ross has that ability. On this game, he is closely watched by Luke Kennard. He sets it up with a few dribbles before heading for the cup and doing the acrobatic lay-up around the big ones at the edge. Ross won’t be the best preparer for everyone, but if he can still be a scoring threat, he’d give this team someone on the bench who could be a microwave scorer for them.

A large bench

When you play Vault on this Nuggets roster, you have two jobs. One of them is at each end of the floor. On the offensive end, your job is to be big around the basket and finish the easy looks. When the team had Mason Plumlee, the two-man match between him and Morris often consisted of pick-and-rolls that resulted in lobs to Plumlee. Since his departure, the team has not had a consistent player in this role, but that could change if the team targets Nerlens Noel from the New York Knicks. The former top 10 pick has never been a great player on offense, but he still has the athleticism to elevate for grand slams like the one below. There are enough shots on the second unit to make up for what he doesn’t bring in that aspect, and he’s really brought to the other end.

The Nuggets’ second unit has been a defensive problem all year once the ball’s early defenders have been beaten. There is no one behind them to deter rim readers. Noel’s calling card in defense has always been his athleticism and ability to turn around when shielding someone from the ball. On this game, he fights with Giannis Antetokounmpo on the left wing. Once he sees his teammate getting beaten from the dribble by Pat Connaughton, he begins to spin before getting up for the huge block. Having such a presence on second unit would immediately up the game for the guys around him.

A new sniper

the Sacramento Kings have tried to move Buddy Hield a few times over the past two years, and they almost traded him this past offseason before the Los Angeles Lakers decided to go in a different direction. Now, as an older player who just turned 29 on a young roster that isn’t ready to compete for championships, they have to move him while he still has value. Hield is a career 40 percent 3-point shooter, and he’s been one of the best point shooters in the NBA for several years. With MPJ sidelined for the rest of the year, the Nuggets don’t have a high-volume 3-point artist shooting a high percentage. The piece above shows what Hield can bring even when he’s not standing still and standing still. The Kings are in transition with Hield on a break on the left wing. Tyrese Haliburton swings it towards Hield, and he gets up and reverses the shot before the back defender catches it.

Hield had plenty of time on the last shot to fully set up and shoot. MPJs and other tall shooters benefit from high clearance to avoid being blocked. Hield just uses his quick release to make sure it doesn’t matter how close you get because you’re not going to stop the shot. On this play, time passes and his defender quickly approaches him. He catches the ball high, allowing him to shoot and shoot before the defender can get his hands on it. He has nothing more to do. Of the three players we discussed today, Hield would need to acquire the most from a salary standpoint, but he would also be in a position to bring a ton of value to this roster.

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