ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting the Nuggets are very active in Draft day trade talks, discussing a possible deal with the Warriors that centers around trading Chandler for the No. 7 pick in the first round. As part of the proposed deal the Nuggets would likely have to take on Dorell Wright and the last year of his contract at just north of $4 million.
Those who frequent this blog know I’ve heavily lobbied for the Nuggets to trade Chandler for over a year now. On June 11 I proposed this article which discussed three possible trade scenarios revolving around Chandler for various draft picks. One of those included a trade that sent Chandler to Toronto for the eighth pick in the Draft, however Golden State could have easily taken Toronto’s place given they’ve been on a mission to acquire a legitimate small forward for years.
This all makes me very happy. Chandler is a good player and deserves the opportunity to escape Gallinari’s shadow and carve his own path in the league. He was never going to reach his potential playing a backup role while in Denver. While nothing is complete it’s nice to know the Nuggets feel the same way.
A few things to keep in mind:
— Additional picks (and possibly players) will likely be included if Chandler is dealt. The Warriors need as much talent as they can get, meanwhile the Nuggets have an abundance. I would suspect the Nuggets would deal the all three of their picks (20, 38 and 50) to the Warriors as part of the deal and in exchange receive the Warriors’ 30th pick (the last one in the first round). Either way, both teams have many picks which will likely be exchanged in some way.
— The potential deal breaker in this situation lies in the contracts of Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson. Both players have atrocious contracts hovering around $10 million for the upcoming season with player options for 2013-14. Chandler for No. 7 is extremely lopsided. Either the Warriors will demand the Nuggets take back one of the contracts mentioned above, give them an additional player in the deal (Harrington, Hamilton, etc.) or they’re just totally inept.
— Once the Nuggets acquire the No. 7 pick, they can then use that as ammunition to move up further in the Draft. Charlotte has been open to moving the No. 2 pick. If the Nuggets truly wanted to, I don’t doubt the possibility of moving the seventh pick in addition to someone like Afflalo for the second pick in the Draft to then select Bradley Beal. The Kings have also been open to trading the No. 5 pick in the Draft.
Update (12:05PM MST) by Charlie
I like Wilson Chandler as much as anyone and lobbied hard for the Nuggets retain him last season, but Kalen’s reaction to this latest bit of news is spot-on – if Wilson for the 7th pick as rumored is actually being discussed, it’s way too good to pass up on.
The Nuggets were able to re-sign Chandler at an acceptable price tag, but Danilo Gallinari’s hefty extension kicks in next year and the Nuggets were never going to be able to escape the fact they gave Chandler an Afflalo-like contract to be backup. For better or worse, the Nuggets are heavily invested in Gallo at the three spot and Chandler wasn’t likely to see very much growth beyond the respectable production he’s offered as the utility-man off the bench. In other words, while Wilson provides the luxury of versatility and depth, his value is likely to go down rather than up assuming the Nuggets stick with their core of Lawson, Gallo, Afflalo, and Faried.
That makes selling high on Wilson a most intriguing idea, especially with the draft providing a great opportunity for the Nuggets to sacrifice some of their depth to take a flyer on the kind of potential talent that could take the Nuggets from good to great. Players like Wilson Chandler just don’t fetch top 10 picks in the draft every year.
I don’t see Wilson becoming much better than he currently is. While he’s certainly still in his prime and brings a wide range of skills to the table, he’s likely peaking in terms of efficiency and unlikely to ever see the increase in minutes he’d need to produce beyond his current career averages
He is a natural fit for the Warriors, whose new owners seem desperate to make the playoffs now and favor a known quantity like Chandler over the risk-reward of another lottery pick. If Golden State is indeed serious about acquiring Chandler and are putting the seventh pick on the table, the deal almost makes too much sense not to happen. I’m just not sure the logistics are going to allow it.
Salary-wise, the Warriors have to send back at least $3.8 million in order to make the deal work. With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson presumably off the table, that leaves Dorell Wright’s remaining $8 million and two years the only possibility for a deal involving Chandler and picks. While I’m sure the Warriors would like to shed a contract like Biedrins or Richard Jefferson, they’d have to take back additional salary from Denver in order to make it work. There isn’t really a deal that makes sense for both sides in that scenario.
If this has a chance at happening, it’s probably going to involve more pieces and a possible third team. However, if the Nuggets can nail down the skeleton of a deal involving Chandler and the seventh pick, they have to pull the trigger. Denver can afford to take risks going forward and quite frankly, they probably need to in order to move into the upper echelon of the Western Conference. The Nuggets could end up worse off in the short term when it comes to talent, but their depth and the value presented here greatly outweighs the risk.