Denver Nuggets trade rumors have the team shopping point guard Emmanuel Mudiay and future NBA draft picks in order to improve the current roster. A report by ESPN has furthered that chatter, additionally mentioning that Wilson Chandler could want the team to deal him before the NBA trade deadline. The last day to make moves is on February 23.
The Nuggets are currently feeling out the market, trying to decide if the return package for Mudiay and several NBA draft picks would be enough to seriously consider pulling the trigger. Analyst Zach Lowe states that the franchise isn’t in a hurry to deal him, and even if the team does decide it is time to move in a different direction, may not find enough interest in Mudiay.
Emmanuel Mudiay was the No. 7 overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft. Since then, he has played in 110 games for the Denver Nuggets. His career averages are 12.6 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.0 turnovers per game. Mudiay has been an inconsistent shooter, though, hitting on just 36.7 percent of his field goals and 71.1 percent of his free throws.
The Nuggets have a lot of team control over Mudiay still, with a $3.4 million salary for next year and then a team option worth about $4.3 million for the 2018-19 NBA season. This year he makes about $3.3 million, meaning he would also be a very affordable option for another team to acquire.
At 21-27 on the season, the Nuggets are currently tied for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with the Portland Trail Blazers. It puts the team in a good position to possibly make the 2017 NBA Playoffs, but they would then get rewarded with a first-round series against the Golden State Warriors. If the front office doesn’t think that the team is good enough to win that series, it could mean several deals take place before the February 23 NBA trade deadline.
In a separate report by NBA.com, additional Denver Nuggets trade rumors are being discussed. Wilson Chandler has been sent to the bench to be part of the second unit and he is not very pleased with the decision. Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari have taken over the starting roles on the team and it has caused Chandler to immediately take a hit in his minutes.
Chandler has played 44 games for the Nuggets this season, averaging 15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game. He gives the team a nice weapon on offense, as he averages 35.1 percent from three-point range. At just 29, Chandler sees himself as a starting small forward, which is a role that he may need to claim on a different team. This will cause his name to get mentioned a bit as the NBA trade deadline gets closer. In addition to the $11.2 million he earns this season, Chandler will make $12 million next year, and $12.8 million the following season.
The fates of Emmanuel Mudiay and Wilson Chandler are not intertwined, even though both players could get dealt within the next three weeks. Chandler would be the easiest player for another team to acquire, as he might not take a lot to pry away from the Nuggets. A future draft pick might just get it done, even though another team would have to at least match his salary for the 2016-17 NBA season.
With Mudiay, it’s possible that the Nuggets are only shopping him to figure out what his value is around the NBA. Mudiay is an important cog on this team, even if he does continue to struggle on offense. He will turn 21 in March, showing that he also has a lot of time left to grow in the league. If a team surfaces that wants to overpay for him, though, the front office of the Denver Nuggets might want to consider dealing Mudiay.
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