The Nuggets are deep, young and good.
They also don’t stand out in a championship race led by the Lakers, Bucks and Clippers.
Denver is primed for a consolidation trade. The Nuggets could sacrifice depth, youth and/or picks to get a better player.
Just don’t expect a deal to include Michael Porter Jr.
Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:
Michael Porter Jr. is untouchable.
Once a potential No. 1 pick, Porter fell to No. 14 in last year’s draft amid health concerns. He underwent another back surgery last year, missed his entire first season then missed summer league with a knee sprain this year. Porter has played just nine minutes per game in 16 games this season. His most notable NBA moment has been revealing Adam Silver’s cell-phone number.
Maybe the Nuggets have good reason to refuse to trade him. They should know his game better than anyone else. But Porter hasn’t shown the same pop in his limited minutes so far.
Perhaps, this is a bluff to drive up his value. After all, if Denver appears so attached to him, that would signal to other teams that they should also want him.
A test is whether the Nuggets will actually engage in trade negotiations involving Porter. That’s unclear.
Maybe Denver knows the demand for Porter doesn’t match its internal valuation of him. At that point, the Nuggets might as well convey that he’s untouchable. A deal won’t happen, so it can be worth showing their confidence in him.
Still, with all the right breaks, Denver is good enough to win a championship as soon as this season. This is the time at least to consider trading anyone for an upgrade.