The Denver Nuggets can use a young star to create buzz, but two young guards are apparently not a starting point in trade talks for Kyrie Irving.
Once upon a time, around the trade deadline in 2011, the Denver Nuggets sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks as part of a three-team trade. In exchange for a star player they got multiple useful players, and promptly won 57 games in the first full, non-lockout shortened season without Anthony.
But the Nuggets have not made the playoffs since then, with no more than 40 wins in a season.
In a recent radio interview, Mike Miller said he thinks Kyrie Irving is “definitely interested” in playing in Denver. The Nuggets were not on Irving’s list of preferred trade destinations, but they can offer a mix of assets to get the Cavaliers’ attention.
Any trade talks with the Nuggets may start with Cleveland asking for one or both of Gary Harris and Jamal Murray. But, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Denver is not willing to package the two young guards in a deal for Irving.
Harris is coming off the best season of his career, as he averaged 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game and made 42 percent of his three pointers. Murray played all 82 games as a rookie last season, in a bench role (10 starts-21.5 minutes per game), and averaged 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. But he is in line to usurp Emmanuel Mudiay as Denver’s starting point guard next season, and Murray is probably alongside center Nikola Jokic as untouchables on the roster.
The Nuggets made a notable foray in free agency this offseason, signing Paul Millsap to a reported three-year, $90 million deal (third year team option). But if they don’t want to part with Harris and Murray, or at least one of them, a deal for Irving is probably not happening.