NBA Trade Rumors: Jusuf Nurkic And Danilo Gallinari To Celtics, Jae Crowder And Amir Johnson To Nuggets Highlight Nine-Asset Deal

NBA trade rumors are hot when it comes to the Boston Celtics. Not only do they have a general manager who is very willing to cut deals, but a number of media outlets, including CBS Sports, feel the Celtics have the best group of trade assets in the league. This article mentions small forward Jae Crowder and power forward Amir Johnson as being key among the team’s trade chips. Boston has been rumored for months to be looking at possible deals involving superstar players, but now that the trade deadline is nearing, it appears that the prudent move for the Celtics would be to start exploring their second-tier trade options.

One of the more attractive big men who could be available to the Celtics is Denver Nuggets center Jusuf Nurkic. Marc Stein of ESPN reports that it is a near certainty that Nurkic will be dealt by Denver before the trade deadline. Yibada discusses a more specific scenario, asserting that Boston may be taking a hard look at Jusuf Nurkic in order to pair him with Al Horford in the Celtics’ frontcourt. Nurkic’s rebounding prowess could shore up a weakness and make Boston a bigger threat in the Eastern Conference race.

Jusuf Nurkic goes for the block against Portland’s Ed Davis [Image by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images]

Celtics Hub has published a piece that details Boston’s potential interest in Nuggets small forward Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari is in the final year of his contract, with a player option for 2017-18. NBA writer Cameron Tabatabaie feels that the Celtics could obtain Gallinari at a reasonable price, and that he would be worth making a deal for — even if he decides to leave the team via free agency at the end of the season (which would free up cap space and allow Boston more flexibility in the free agent market).

Current NBA trade rumors are pointing toward a potential transaction between the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets. The structure of this rumored proposal is as follows: the Celtics would receive Jusuf Nurkic, Danilo Gallinari, power forward Darrell Arthur, and point guard Jameer Nelson. The Nuggets would acquire Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, center Tyler Zeller, shooting guard Terry Rozier, and a first-round draft pick in 2019. This hypothetical swap is plausible from the NBA league office’s perspective, since it satisfies all NBA trade rules per the ESPN NBA Trade Machine.


If the Boston Celtics agreed to this trade, they would improve their offensive firepower and rebounding, but their defense might suffer equally. According to ESPN’s NBA Real Plus-Minus statistics, Jae Crowder is a much better defensive player than the man who would replace him, Danilo Gallinari. In fact, Gallinari seems to have the reputation as a star player in some circles, but the case can be made that Jae Crowder is just as effective, and a better all-around player. On the whole, this wouldn’t be a terrible deal for the Celtics, but it wouldn’t make them significantly better than they are now.

When it comes to the Denver Nuggets, the pieces they would receive in this theoretical trade don’t fit very well with the team’s current roster. Amir Johnson and Terry Rozier would both be redundant and not make much of a difference for Denver, although Johnson is playing on an expiring contract that might help the Nuggets in free agency next summer. Denver would lose some offense if they made this deal, and that is already a weak point since their starting unit lacks shooting competence (Emmanuel Mudiay, Kenneth Faried).

Amir Johnson [Image by Charles Krupa/AP Images]

This offering from the latest crop of NBA trade rumors gives us a scenario that is somewhat reasonable for the Celtics and Nuggets in terms of value, but doesn’t seem to help either team step up to the next level. Boston would say no because they are giving up too much (four players and a first-round draft choice) in a swap that would not move them up the Eastern Conference ladder. Denver would say no because the incoming players would not fit well enough to make a difference for them, either. This nine-asset scenario could be the basis for further negotiations, but it doesn’t appear likely that either team would go for this deal as it is currently structured.

[Featured Image by David Zalubowski/AP Images]

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