NBA Rumors: Michael Porter Jr. Could Be Key To Nuggets’ Acquisition Of James Harden Before 2021 Trade Deadline

Despite receiving limited playing time, Denver Nuggets power forward Michael Porter Jr. has managed to establish an impressive record in the 2019-20 NBA season. If he continues to improve his game, it may only be a matter of time before he catches up with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray and becomes an All-Star in the league. However, with the team currently in a win-now mode, there remains a possibility that the Nuggets could use Porter Jr. as the main trade chip to land an established superstar before the 2021 trade deadline.

The Nuggets were among the teams who were linked to All-Star shooting guard James Harden when he demanded a trade from the Houston Rockets. So far, Denver hasn’t shown a strong indication that they are planning to go all-in for “The Beard” but if they decide to join the Harden sweepstakes, Sam Quinn of CBS Sports believes that they should be willing to sacrifice Porter Jr.

“Michael Porter Jr. is exactly the sort of possible star Brooklyn doesn’t have to offer. Gary Harris and Will Barton offer positive-value salary filler. Denver has most of its own picks to offer, though Jokic and Murray are young enough to limit the value of even their later ones. Bol Bol is a fun sweetener. If the Rockets want upside, the Bol-Porter-R.J. Hampton trio offers an abundance, and is likely far enough away from its fully-realized future to make Houston’s own picks more valuable over the next few seasons.”

Trading a player with huge superstar potential like Porter Jr. would undeniably be a difficult decision for the Nuggets. However, it’s the type of move that they should be willing to make if they are serious about fully dominating the loaded Western Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2020-21 NBA season.

Harden would make the Nuggets a more dangerous team on the offensive end of the floor. He would give them a very reliable scoring option, a decent playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter. Last season, the 31-year-old shooting guard averaged 34.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.8 steals while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

The potential arrival of Harden would definitely force Jokic and Murray to make certain adjustments with their game, but once they find the perfect chemistry, it would dramatically change their fate next year. The “Big Three” of Harden, Jokic, and Murray would boost Denver’s chances of beating powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Miami Heat in a best-of-seven series.

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