With the trade deadline just over 12 hours away, it seems to be highly unlikely that the Denver Nuggets make a move. The only players they have been rumored to be interested in are Tyrus Thomas and Ben Wallace. I thought Wallace was a logical option for Denver as he has a small expiring contract and might be interested in playing for a team that doesn’t suck. The problem with Wallace is he is not an ideal defender for the Lakers’ long front line, but he could certainly help the Nuggets hang on to the second seed.
I never understood the Tyrus Thomas rumors although I have repeatedly read the Nuggets have inquired about him. The only way Denver could send the Bulls enough expiring contracts to match Thomas’ $4,743,598 contract is if Johan Petro and Anthony Carter approve of the trade. In addition to that roadblock Denver would have to part with not only Petro, but Malik Allen too leaving them with only four bigs and Thomas is not much of a banger. If the Bulls were interested in taking Renaldo Balkman back instead of an expiring contract, it would make such a trade more palatable for Denver, but all this is under the assumption that the Bulls would be willing to part with a player they drafted fourth just three years ago for expiring contracts and Balkman. As we have pointed out before, Denver has very little else to offer with the Grizzlies already owning Denver’s 2010 first rounder and the only other tradable asset being the rights to Linas Kleiza.
The only other way the Nuggets could acquire Thomas from the Bulls would be part of a larger deal where they take on an undesirable contract from Chicago, but the Nuggets are not likely to be in the business of adding long term salary with the contracts they already have on the books for next season and furthermore, agreeing to accept more than Thomas would require the Nuggets parting with one of their key rotation players. It just is not worth it.
Denver does have one ace up their sleeve, a $3.696 million trade exception, one of the largest current trade exceptions in the league, thanks to the trade that sent Steven Hunter to Memphis. It could prove useful in acquiring Ben Wallace, but do not look for Denver to offer anyone salary relief as that does not jive with their budget conscious philosophy. Still, if the right offer comes along, it is a nice arrow to have in the quiver.
The one developing situation to keep an eye on is whether or not Drew Gooden will be bought out by the Los Angeles Clippers. There are currently conflicting Twitter reports regarding Gooden’s future with the Clips. David Aldridge is saying he is staying in L.A. while Adrian Wojnarowski is saying he is on his way to a buy out. I am not sure if the Nuggets would have any interest in Gooden if he were a free agent, but I am certain Denver will be a destination of choice for any big men who are bought out following the trade deadline.
Some have wondered if the announcement from yesterday regarding Coach Karl would make the Nuggets more or less likely to make a move. I firmly believe it plays no role in what the Nuggets do tomorrow and beyond. If they have a chance to make a move or signing to improve the roster without compromising their budget, they will pull the trigger.
I find it unlikely that trigger is pulled tomorrow, but keep an eye on the TrueHoop Trade Reports page for all the latest news.