The Denver Nuggets are a good team, but they are only 7th in the Western Conference. That is a far cry from a team that looked to be on par with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers last season. Nikola Jokic is playing at an MVP level, and Jamal Murray is a solid scoring option in the clutch. While they have good players, perhaps they need that extra piece to put them over the top of other contenders.
Zach LaVine would be the perfect trade target for the Denver Nuggets. Zach LaVine is a first-time All-Star this season, and his scoring would be very beneficial in Denver. The Denver Nuggets need to make a run, and a trade could be a way to shake up the roster. Here is a potential trade package between the Denver Nuggets and the Chicago Bulls:
Denver Nuggets Receive: Zach LaVine
Chicago Bulls Receive: Michael Porter Jr., Will Barton, Monte Morris, two future first-round picks
Chicago Bulls Get A Huge Package For A Star
Even with Zach LaVine's scoring prowess, the Chicago Bulls are still below .500. They have been languishing near the bottom of the rankings in recent memory, and the 10th seed is still not where the franchise wants to be. They could elect to trade Zach LaVine, who is their best trade chip before his value gets too low. LaVine's contract expires in 2022, and it could be prudent to trade him earlier rather than later. Zach LaVine would command a lot of value at the trade deadline, as a lot of teams will be looking for that third piece that can help them get better than the opposition.
In this hypothetical trade, the centerpiece would be Michael Porter Jr., who has loads of potential. Porter Jr. is a forward who could eventually develop into an elite scorer, and he is currently averaging 14.2 PPG with 6.9 RPG. He has shown solid signs throughout his first two seasons and could get even better on a team where he'd have more offensive touches. Will Barton is a solid offensive spark plug who can heat up quickly and is shooting 37.8% from the 3PT range. Monte Morris is a great offensive point guard for the bench, and could possibly play the 6th man role on the Chicago Bulls. The Denver Nuggets would also include two future first-round picks here, as they need to load their trade package with assets in order to trade for a star of LaVine's caliber. This trade package could help the Chicago Bulls get Zach LaVine to a contender, all while gaining a treasure trove in return.
Denver Nuggets Create A Big Three
Zach LaVine is currently averaging 28.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 5.0 APG on the Chicago Bulls. He is a premier shooting guard in the league and would be a solid addition to any team. LaVine would provide a consistent shot creator with elite athleticism. On the Denver Nuggets, he would have a smaller offensive role next to two other stars, but he would also have other players who can carry the offense when he has an off-game. The Denver Nuggets would be a great destination for a player that has been on losing franchises for most of his career. They would help him get to the playoffs and play for a team that knows how to win.
Zach LaVine in turn would be the missing piece that would help the Denver Nuggets face off against other top-tier teams. Despite beating the Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz in the playoffs last season, the Nuggets were trounced by the 2020 champion, the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nuggets need more star power to create a big three, similar to what the Brooklyn Nets have done with the James Harden trade. While Zach LaVine isn't James Harden, the idea is similar: stack stars and create a superteam.