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The Blockbuster Trade Idea: Denver Nuggets Can Create A Big 3 With James Harden

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The Blockbuster Trade Idea: Denver Nuggets Can Create A Big 3 With James Harden

The Denver Nuggets upset the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs last season, behind the emergence of young stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. While they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the next round, beating the Clippers has shown the world that the Nuggets aren't a dark horse anymore. The Nuggets are a full-fledged contender and should be treated as such. With a roster of their caliber, Finals expectations are only fair.

While their roster is already good, and some of their players could improve, the Nuggets could elect to acquire more star power in order to compete. When you compete against players like LeBron James in the playoffs, then your roster needs to be powerful. The Golden State Warriors beat James for a few years by being an unstoppable superteam. The Nuggets could elect to do the same thing, and trade for the biggest star on the trade market right now: James Harden.

Denver Nuggets Receive: James Harden

Houston Rockets Receive: Michael Porter Jr., Gary Harris, Will Barton, Monte Morris, two future first-round picks

The Houston Rockets Get A Treasure Trove For James Harden

Trading James Harden anywhere will most likely get the Houston Rockets a huge return, with young players and picks to rebuild their assets in the era after Daryl Morey. The Rockets gambled their future prospects away in a desire to compete during their time with Harden. This trade offers the Rockets an opportunity to rebuild the war chest. Michael Porter Jr. is someone who many have billed as a future star. He offers incredible size at the forward position, shoots like a guard, and can guard the perimeter. Gary Harris is known as a defensive stopper, who could have a bounceback year offensively. Will Barton and Monte Morris are both spark plug scorers who can get hot on any given day. All of those players have utility on any roster, and this deal should at least tempt the Rockets. The picks could also turn out to be good, which makes this deal even better.

The Nuggets are sending out a lot of assets in return for a chance to truly compete against the Los Angeles teams. All of their players could be good in the future, but none of their players push them over the top as Harden would. Instead, they could be given heavy playing time on a team like the Rockets, and develop well in the future. Behind Jokic and Murray, there are fewer touches to go around for everyone, and the Rockets would offer a better developmental opportunity for the Nuggets' players. Perhaps with a lot of touches going to him, Porter Jr. could surprise us the way he wouldn't be able to in Denver.

The Nuggets Pair Two MVP Candidates In Denver

The Denver Nuggets are known as a well-run franchise with a solid front office. They have drafted well and developed their prospects into elite players. Perhaps now it is time to give the roster a jolt: Jokic and Murray are ready to contend now, and this trade would give them the opportunity. Jamal Murray is the only top-tier source of good perimeter creation at the guard position: perhaps James Harden could fill that void. Iso basketball is at its most valuable in late-game situations, and Harden could bring that sort of skillset to the Nuggets. At the end of the day it is that simple: putting two MVP caliber players together is a recipe for winning.

Nikola Jokic is one of the favored candidates among NBA executives to win the MVP award this year: it is an entirely plausible scenario. Adding James Harden would allow Jokic to make even better use of his passing: Jokic to Harden threes should be guaranteed baskets. James Harden and Nikola Jokic is a pairing that would change the dynamics of the league, and it would be able to compete with the likes of both star pairings in Los Angeles. Don't forget about Jamal Murray either: the Canadian star is one of the best young point guards in the league, and he had a scintillating bubble run, helping his team crawl out of two 3-1 series deficits. The Nuggets would have a big three, one with two MVP candidates. That team would become one of the favorites if not the favorite to win a championship.

James Harden on the Nuggets would be very interesting. It would catapult the Nuggets into being one of the top two teams in the league on paper. While good on paper teams still fail (2019-20 Clippers), more likely than not, Harden to Denver would be a positive for the team. Any price is worth it for James Harden, especially if it doesn't include trading your young stars.


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