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Friday, May 27, 2022

3 Moves the Denver Nuggets Have to Make to Give Nikola Jokic Some Desperately Needed Help

Nikola Jokic has been an amazing force for the Denver Nuggets, but with a slim playoff push and less than stellar supporting cast, he’s become one of the best in his game. This is why they have to make three moves that will help him out:
-Signing Patrick McCaw as their new starting two guard; allowing Jamal Murray to play off of Jokic more effectively
-Shedding some salary by trading Kenneth Faried or Wilson Chandler
-Maintaining depth on defense with signings like Pat Connaughton and Michael Porter Jr.

The “how old is nikola jokic” is a question that has been asked by many fans. The Denver Nuggets have 3 moves they need to make in order to give Nikola Jokic some desperately needed help.

Despite being in contention for back-to-back MVP honors, the Nikola Jokic-led Denver Nuggets are merely 22-20 and sixth in the Western Conference standings as of January 18.

Before tearing his ACL in April, Jamal Murray was on the verge of becoming a superstar. For the years 2021-22, he has been ruled out indefinitely.

Michael Porter Jr., the Nuggets’ No. 3 offensive option, had season-ending back surgery in November.

So, for the time being, there’s Jokic and… well, that’s pretty much all. Aaron Gordon is an important member of the club, but he has never been a go-to scorer. The remainder of Denver’s roster is made up of backups.

If the team wants to secure a playoff berth and go on a run, it has to add some scoring around The Joker. The Nuggets may not have a lot of trade chips to offer other teams, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to make deals on the fringes.

At the very least, the team should offer him more alternatives so we can continue to watch an artist create an offensive masterpiece.

Here are three trades the Denver Nuggets might make before the trade deadline this year to aid Jokic.

Eric Gordon adds some shooting to the mix.

Eric Gordon claims that he is playing his most efficient basketball of his career right now.

— Cayleigh Griffin (@cayleighgriffin) January 18, 2022

Despite having Jokic as an all-around facilitator, Denver is now ranked 23rd in scoring in 2021-22.

Gordon has been made available by the Houston Rockets, according to Bleacher Report. They do, however, want a first-round selection in exchange, a hefty price to pay for a guard who will earn over $20 million next season at the age of 33.

However, if Denver makes another playoff run (as they are expected to do in this scenario), that early first-round pick will become a late first-rounder with less value for the Nuggets.

Gordon’s contract would require some cap maneuvering, but the former Indiana Hoosier would be an immediate offensive boost alongside Jokic.

EG is still a valuable contributor. This season, he’s averaging 14.9 points on 51/46/74 shooting splits. Behind Joe Harris, he has the second best 3-point percentage in the league.

Gordon’s ability to spread the floor and shoot from many angles would be beneficial when playing with a facilitator like Jokic.

The Nuggets need backcourt productivity and scoring, which the 14-year veteran continues to offer.

Caris LeVert, another offensive player and scorer, should be added to the mix.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi096joUx c

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In December, the Indiana Pacers made LeVert, along with big guys Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, available. According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, the Michigan product is asking for a first-round selection and a “solid” young player.

LeVert’s attraction in Denver stems from his backcourt scoring and playmaking abilities. He can play both a large two-guard and a wing at 6-foot-6.

The 27-year-old is averaging 18.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists in 31 games this season. His shooting percentages are down, but like Gordon, Jokic’s rotation around the sun should make things simpler.

LeVert is also an underappreciated facilitator, which would relieve some of the pressure on the franchise center in Denver. The sixth-year guard averaged six assists per game in his last season with the Brooklyn Nets, when he was a key component of the offense.

He averaged 5.2 assists between the Nets and the Pacers in an injury-shortened 2020-21 season.

A guy like Caris LeVert starting in the backcourt would assist the Nuggets — and Jokic.

Consider Harrison Barnes as a potential Jokic running buddy.

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The last deal on my list could be the best the Denver Nuggets can make before the deadline this year. Harrison Barnes is one of the most prolific but underappreciated names in the industry, and his skill set would be a good match for the 26-year-old Serb.

Barnes’ offensive production, like Gordon and LeVert’s, would be his main selling point. But, unlike the other two targets in this scenario, the former North Carolina Tar Heel brings a lot more to the table.

Barnes is averaging 16.2 points per game this season, with 45/42/84 splits. He also doesn’t demand the ball — his shot attempts rank third on the Kings (11). (Sacramento doesn’t have a lot of All-Stars.)

In addition, the 6-foot-8 big averages more over six rebounds each game. Another advantage is his adaptability, as he, like Gordon, can easily transition between the three and four positions.

The 29-year-old has appeared in 64 postseason games and won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015. Experience is important for a team hoping to stay in the playoffs, and postseason experience is even more important.

NBA.com provided all data.

RELATED: 3 Moves the Memphis Grizzlies Could Make at the NBA Trade Deadline to Help Ja Morant Bring the Franchise a Championship This Season

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