The Denver Nuggets entered the 2020-21 NBA season aiming to fully dominate the loaded Western Conference. However, with Jamal Murray's inconsistent performance, it remains a big question mark if they are capable of reaching this goal and a championship. Even if Murray improves and starts performing like an All-Star, some believe that the Nuggets still need more star power around Nikola Jokic to have a realistic chance of dethroning the reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.
One of the players that the Nuggets could target before the 2021 trade deadline is Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls. In a recent article, Robbie Stratakos of ClutchPoints came up with a blockbuster trade idea that would enable the Nuggets to form a "Big Three" of LaVine, Jokic, and Murray. In the proposed scenario, Denver would be sending a package that includes Gary Harris, Zeke Nnaji, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2024 first-round pick to Chicago in exchange for LaVine.
"LaVine would be the Nuggets' third prolific player. Now, LaVine would have the ball in his hands a little less with the Nuggets offense revolving around Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. However, such a role change could make LaVine even more dangerous. He would play off the ball more, have more open looks from distance (LaVine is a career 37.6 percent shooter from beyond the arc), and would serve as the Nuggets' third source of offense. Heck, he could come off the bench and provide a scoring jolt."
Though the suggested deal would cost them two future first-rounders, it should be a no-brainer for the Nuggets. LaVine may not be on the same level as James Harden, but he would still be a great acquisition for Denver. His arrival in Mile High City would further improve their offensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 4 in the league, scoring 112.8 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN.
He would give them a very reliable third scoring option behind Jokic and Murray, as well as a decent ball-handler and playmaker and an elite three-point shooter. This season, the 25-year-old shooting guard is posting incredible numbers, averaging 27.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
LaVine would still need to make certain adjustments with his game to make himself fit in Denver, especially knowing that he's coming from a team where he's currently the main guy. However, with his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, it would be easier for him to build chemistry with ball-dominant stars like Jokic and Murray. If the "Big Three" of LaVine, Murray, and Jokic mesh well on the court and manage to stay injury-free, the Nuggets would have a better chance of reaching the NBA Finals this year.