Denver Nuggets: Toronto adds multiple picks and guards
The Nuggets had a strong season last year, but after an ACL injury to star Jamal Murray, Denver lacked depth in the playoffs and was promptly swept in the second round by the Phoenix Suns.
With Murray still set to miss some time to start the 2021-22 season and potentially take some time to get back to full speed, the Nuggets could use the assistance of a proven guard who can score the rock, as well as supply a boost on the defensive end. Enter Dragic.
By adding Dragic to the Nuggets roster they will now have a rock-solid point guard to lead their bench unit. Upon his return, Dragic would fit great on the Nuggets second unit, and would be a reliable player when his number was called down the stretch of a close game.
Murray is also capable of playing at the two-guard spot and handing primary ball-handling duties to Dragic. On top of this, Denver could add an athletic wing with great size in Yuta Watanabe, able to provide intense defence and spot-up shooting off the bench.
The Raptors could take advantage of Denver’s depth and picks.
In return for sending Dragic to Denver, the Raptors would boost their depth at the shooting guard position, acquiring Will Barton and Austin Rivers. Barton, who can’t be traded until November 9, would fit well as a back-up for newly signed Gary Trent Jr. this year.
Able to score in a plethora of ways and keep the Raptors in games when the starting unit is off the court, Barton, who will turn 31 in January, would be under contract for the next two seasons. He’d be a legit Sixth Man of the Year contender in Toronto.
Rivers would also serve as a valuable asset, able to provide quality defence as well as playmaking ability from either guard position.
The Raptors would also add the rights to swap first-round picks in 2022 and 2024 with the Nuggets, giving them a fail-safe in this deal to potentially move up in the draft to find yet another diamond in the rough. A second-round pick is the cherry on top.
With Murray, MVP Nikola Jokic, and breakout star Michael Porter Jr. all locked up long-term, Denver has enough bench talent behind them in Monte Morris, JaMychal Green, and youngsters Zeke Nnaji and Nah’Shon Hyland. What they need is experience, and multiple pick swaps is a fair price for Dragic as a boost going into the 2022 playoffs.
These trades will ultimately be affected by a number of external factors, most importantly being the stock of Dragic this season. He will need to showcase his skill set and value to the league after having a down-year with the Heat in 2020-21.
If Dragic can prove his worth and keep the Raptors competitive in his tenure, either of these trades could easily become reality.