Trade Deadline 2023: Denver Nuggets Mock Deadline

  • GM: Asher Levy, @asherlevynba

    Salary Cap: $160,806,228

    Luxury Tax: -$10,539,228

    GOAL: Upgrade bench depth, try to acquire an adequate backup for Jokic


    Acquire a bench big

    Use $9,125,000 TPE on a useful piece

    Players to Dangle

    Ish Smith (1/$4.7)

    o   Best mid tier salary to move if there’s an upgrade elsewhere

    o   Salary: $4,725,000

    o   Can salary match up to $6,006,250

    DeAndre Jordan (1/$2.9)

    o   Would have to be a salary dump to open up an extra roster spot, but they value his veteran presence

    o   Salary: $2,905,851

    Target Players

    Bench Bigs

    o   Andre Drummond, Chicago Bulls
    o   Robin Lopez, Cleveland Cavaliers
    o   Nerlens Noel, Denver Nuggets
    o   Goga Bitadze, Indiana Pacers
    o   Xavier Tillman, Memphis Grizzlies
    o   Dewayne Dedmon, Miami Heat
    o   Willy Hernangomez, New Orleans Pelicans
    o   Mike Muscala, OKC Thunder
    o   Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic
    o   Montrezl Harrell, Philadelphia 76ers
    o   Trey Lyles, Sacramento Kings
    o   Gorgui Dieng & Zach Collins, San Antonio Spurs
    o   Khem Birch, Toronto Raptors

    TPE Options

    o  Mason Plumlee, Charlotte Hornets (would satisfy both needs)
    o  Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls
    o  Hamidou Diallo & Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons
    o  TJ McConnell, Indiana Pacers
    o  Amir Coffey, Los Angeles Clippers
    o  Grayson Allen & George Hill, Milwaukee Bucks
    o  Taurean Prince, Minnesota Timberwolves
    o  Cam Reddish, New York Knicks
    o  Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers
    o  Justise Winslow, Portland Trail Blazers
    o  Rudy Gay, Utah Jazz

    Assets Owned

    • TPE: $9,125,000
    • TPE: $3,475,000
    2023 1st (lotto protected to CHA)
    2024 1st (lotto protected to CHA if ‘23 1st doesn’t convey)
    2025 1st (lotto protected to CHA if ‘23 & ‘24 1st doesnt convey or top 5 protected to Orlando if ‘23 1st conveyed)
    2026 1st (top five protected to Orlando if ‘24 1st not conveyed + ‘25 1st not conveyed)
    2027 1st (top five protected to Orlando if ‘25 or ‘26 first not conveyed. Top five protected to OKC if Orlando ‘25 conveyed)
    2028 1st (top five protected to OKC if ‘27 first not conveyed & 2026 1st to ORL conveyed)
    2029 1st (top five protected to OKC if ‘27 or ‘28 1st not conveyed + ‘27 1st conveyed to ORL)

    o   None of these firsts are available to be traded

    2023 2nd (To CHI if 47-60)
    2023 2nd (second most favorable of own, WAS, or more favorable of MIA & DAL)
    2024 2nd
    2024 2nd (most favorable of CHA & MIN)
    2025 2nd (to CHA if 2023-25 1st not conveyed)
    2026 2nd (to CHA if 2023-25 1st not conveyed)
    2028 2nd (protected 31-34; otherwise to SAS)
    2029 2nd (to OKC if 2027-29 first not conveyed)


    Mock Trades to Date (Feb 2 Deadline)


    Pelicans trade for All-Star point guard


    Pelicans receive: Fred VanVleet, Dalano Banton, Toronto 2029 2nd

    Raptors receive: Devonte’ Graham, Dyson Daniels, Naji Marshall, 2024 LAL 1st round pick (top-3 protected) and Pelicans 2026 1st (most favorable of MIL and NOP), Bulls 2024 2nd

    Nuggets receive: Willy Hernangómez and Raptors 2027 2nd


    This trade has been the most controversial among those that were announced on Twitter or on Bird Rights Podcast and has definitely received the most pushback. However, Pelicans GM, Anil Gogna’s rationale was sound. This trade was very reminiscent of the Jrue Holiday to the Bucks trade. At the time, it seemed like there was a massive overpay from Milwaukee and a desperate ploy to keep Giannis with the Bucks. But then they ultimately re-signed Giannis to a long-term deal and won the championship with the help of Holiday, so nobody will remember that trade as an overpay. Anil felt that in order to get off Devonte’ Graham’s guaranteed money beyond this year, it would take a first-round pick. Keep in mind, the Pelicans have never paid the luxury tax in franchise history. As a result, he felt that this deal was essentially Daniels, Marshall, and one first-round pick for VanVleet. Daniels has the potential to be great, but according to Anil, it’s unpredictable to know whether that potential comes to fruition. 

    For the Raptors, their asking price was high for VanVleet. After turning down a $112 million extension, the Raptors were almost required to hear offers on VanVleet. Getting two first-round picks, Dyson Daniels, and Naji Marshall was a massive haul for a re-tooling team. In reality, it is unlikely that the Pelicans will be willing to part ways with Daniels, but it isn’t the craziest thing to think it’s time to push in some of their assets to try to make a run at an NBA finals appearance with how wide open the Western Conference is this year. 

    For the Nuggets, they got a second-round pick to take on Hernangómez, who instantly becomes the best backup center option behind Nikola Jokić on this roster. 


    Cavs add a wing

    TRADE: Cavaliers trade 2023 GSW 2nd to the Denver Nuggets for Davon Reed


    For the Cavaliers, they desperately need consistent wings on their roster that can shoot and defend. Davon Reed showed flashes for Denver last year and parlayed that into a multi-year deal. Reed’s money is also non-guaranteed next year so if he underwhelms in his time in Cleveland for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, then they can cut him loose with no financial repercussions. For the Nuggets, they had to clear a roster spot for Willy Hernangomez, and they essentially flipped Reed for Hernangomez and two seconds. Excellent work by Denver. 

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