This post will be updated throughout the day with any significant developments surrounding the Nuggets at the trade deadline.
For those wondering if the Nuggets will shake things up, it does not appear that Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri have any moves planned — even minor ones. However, this has been one of the wildest trade seasons in recent memory and the amount of chatter going on suggests we could see a lot of activity just before the deadline.
The Nuggets are still trying to sign Wilson Chandler amid all this, and that decision may be the key in terms of what, if any, moves might happen at the trade deadline. Chandler and his agent have set an arbitrary deadline of Friday for the Nuggets to sign him long term, after which they are threatening to sign in Italy for the rest of the season.
If the Nuggets sign Chandler or are confident they eventually will, it might be prudent to use this opportunity to shed some salary or swap assets to ensure Chandler plays a significant role and earns whatever contract he receives.
Conversely, if the Nuggets plan to wait out Chandler till July, when he’ll again be a restricted free agent, then it seems unlikely they would be inclined to make even a minor move. They’ll have plenty of opportunity to create flexibility after the season is over.
Chandler’s deadline is artificial, meaning there is no actual rule preventing the Nuggets from signing him after Friday. The threat coming from Chandler is that he will remove himself from negotiations and go to Italy for the rest of the season. That would preclude the Nuggets from signing and trading him next season, but also make it more difficult for teams to acquire him. His options are already limited as a restricted FA and such a move would limit them further, especially with the Nuggets maintaining the right match any offer.
Here’s the latest tidbit on Chandler from ESPN’s Chris Broussard:
The Nuggets continue to negotiate with Wilson Chandler and if the sides don’t reach an agreement within the next week or so, Chandler’s agent Chris Luchey says his client will finish the season in Italy. Chandler is looking for a deal starting around $7 million a year, but the Nuggets feel like paying him $7 million, which would not be prorated, for this season is way too high. They would rather start him at $5 million.
I have no idea what will happen, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. The Nuggets have more assets than just about anybody at the trade deadline. They are in position to be buyers, sellers, or both. Every contract on the books is reasonable and they are one of the few teams holding a large trade exception, ($7 million from the Raymond Felton deal). Masai has surprised us before and there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t do it again.
Remember, this post will be updated with any developments should they occur. As of now, the Nuggets haven’t been linked to any potential trades.