Grade the Trade: Pacers land Michael Porter Jr. from Nuggets in 4-player mock deal: Nuggets grade
As Zach Buckley noted in his explanation, the Denver Nuggets would only make such a deal if their depth doesn’t end up playing up to par on their quest to win another championship.
Michael Porter Jr. played a crucial role in Denver’s title run in 2023, particularly in the scoring and rebounding departments. And despite a relatively quiet Finals, his playoff run was great.
However, the Nuggets lost Bruce Brown and Jeff Green in free agency this summer, leaving them with less depth than they had during their playoff run, with only younger players left to fill the holes.
Guys like Christian Braun, Julian Strather, Peyton Watson, and others seem ready to take on larger roles (or large roles off the jump, in the case of the rookies), but what if it’s not enough?
Buddy Hield would step in as the team’s new sharpshooter in the absence of Porter Jr., but he doesn’t have the height or rebounding ability to replace what the former brings to the table.
TJ McConnell would be a nice piece, too, but the Nuggets just brought back Reggie Jackson. And while Obi Toppin could act as a solid lob threat for Nikola Jokic, he probably wouldn’t have a massive role.
All in all, this would be a wild desperation move for the Nuggets, and the fact that they would have to give up three second-round picks in the deal makes it even less appealing.
If they were going to trade Porter Jr., they should aim to get either a bit more value on the player side or a bit more value on the picks side.
Potential starting lineup:
Jamal Murray, Buddy Hield, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic