The Denver Nuggets recently brought in Mike Malone to operate as their new head coach, making him their third coach in the last four years. Change has been an ongoing notion within the organization, but this summer it might finally get serious. With numerous players linked to other teams via trade rumors, it’s starting to become clear that no Nuggets player is “untouchable”. With the 2015 NBA Draft drawing near, we can probably expect to see many of these Nuggets trade rumors heat up and a deal or three could be coming.
The big question, though, is which players are the greatest risks to be traded and which specific rumors make the most sense? Let’s file through the Denver Nuggets trade rumors that are already out there and also ponder up some new trade scenarios that could unfold at some point this summer:
Eye on the Draft
Denver holds the #7 and #54 picks in the 2015 NBA Draft, so they’ll be looking to get one or more impact players to come in and compete for minutes. That seventh overall selection is the one fans should really get excited about, as the Nuggets could add a potential gem in the form of a Stanley Johnson, Willie Cauley-Stein or Sam Dekker, among others. Denver could also trade for more draft picks or use their current picks to get them in a position to land a more proven NBA veteran.
Ty Lawson Rumors
Lawson is a very steady lead guard that can create, score and defend. He does have limitations at times, as he lacks size or elite athleticism and is also a pretty streaky shooter. He’s also had questionable decision-making off the court and doesn’t always have the best attitude, which is a good reason why Denver may be looking to unload him. He’s probably the most frequently rumored Nuggets player when it comes to trade talk, and there’s a litany of potential suitors for him – largely because he’s still quite good and could be a difference-maker.
While several teams could make a lot of sense for Lawson, the ones that stand out the most are the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings. Dallas is moving on from Rajon Rondo and would have to see Lawson as a huge point guard upgrade, while the Rockets haven’t been shy about their interest in upgrading offensively over Patrick Beverley. The Kings are the only team directly tied to Lawson through NBA trade rumors to this point, though, as he would serve as an upgrade over Darren Collison. It’s worth wondering if the Nuggets would deal with Mike Malone’s former squad, though.
James Harden handled the rock way too much last year and the Rockets know they need a serious addition at the point to take another big step in the playoffs. Lawson could be the missing link.
Wilson Chandler Rumors
Chandler has been tied to several teams in trade rumors but the one that stands out the most is landing with the Los Angeles Clippers, who are still searching for a starter at small forward. Chandler is the classic role player who knows his limitations, can knock down outside jumpers and is willing to defend. He could be a perfect fit with the Clippers, who also recently acquired Lance Stephenson. L.A. isn’t the only team that could have their sights on Chandler, however. The Detroit Pistons badly need an upgrade over Tayshaun Prince, the Chicago Bulls could use an upgrade over Mike Dunleavy and the Atlanta Hawks could be looking for small forward help if free agent DeMarre Carroll ends up skipping town.
Detroit has to get better on the wing – specifically at small forward, and it’s coming in either the draft or free agency. They could just skip both and land a trade with the Nuggets and get a very solid small forward that they know can play right away.
Kenneth Faried Rumors
Faried just signed a massive contract last summer and failed miserably in trying to play up to it. Part of that was Brian Shaw’s awful player and game management, but a huge portion was also Faried supposedly just thinking he’s better than he really is. He is not a supertstar or even a star, as he lacks a remotely consistent jumper or a handle. He plays hard, rebounds well and can get easy buckets, but he has a ways to go as a defender and makes too much for not being a great force on offense. Denver seems to have realized their mistake, so they may want to unload him. The cash is going to be a huge problem, so though numerous teams would love his hustle and heart, I don’t think he gets dealt.