When the Nuggets traded bench players Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez and Jarred Vanderbilt in a series of deadline deals this week, the team was actually improving its long-term outlook by shoring up its collection of draft picks, Mike Singer of the Denver Post contends.
Beasley and Hernangomez, free agents in 2020, could not finalize extensions with Denver last October. After that, it became clear both players would seek more playing time elsewhere this summer, in Singer’s view.
The Nuggets were able to secure the Rockets’ 2020 first-round draft pick, plus intriguing youth in Keita Bates-Diop, Jordan McRae, and Noah Vonleh to shore up their bench. Extracting a first-round pick for a few little-used players destined to depart anyway was a smart play, Singer argues.
There’s more out of Denver:
- Bates-Diop, the lengthy, rangy No. 48 pick out of OSU by the Timberwolves in 2018, could be a valuable addition as a multifaceted forward off the Nuggets’ bench, Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post notes.
- The Nuggets hope to finally reach full health after the All-Star break. “Paul [Millsap] is right there,” Denver president of basketball operations Tim Connelly told Denver’s Altitude Sports Radio (92.5 FM), according to DNVR Sports’ Adam Mares (Twitter link). “Michael [Porter Jr.] is getting right there. I think Mason [Plumlee] will be after the All-Star break…Will [Barton] is just banged up… I think coming out of the all-star break you should see a fully healthy roster.”
- The newest bench assets should serve to enhance a backup roster whose play has improved in 2020, according to Alex Labidou of Nuggets.com.