Nuggets In Market For Wing, Backup Center

The Nuggets are actively exploring the trade market in search of possible roster upgrades, two sources tell Mike Singer of The Denver Post. According to Singer, Denver is focused on potentially adding another wing and/or a backup center.

Few – if any – teams have been hit harder this season by the injury bug than the Nuggets, who are missing two of their top scorers due to long-term ailments — Jamal Murray is recovering from an ACL tear, while Michael Porter Jr. is expected to miss the rest of the season due to a back problem. Swingman PJ Dozier, guard Markus Howard, and forward Vlatko Cancar are also on the shelf, with Dozier considered likely to miss the rest of the season.

Given that they don’t expect Porter or Dozier back this season, the Nuggets are making it a priority to add another wing, according to Singer, who notes that Will Barton is one of the only real options on the roster at that position. The team has also liked what it’s seen from hardship addition Davon Reed and has interest in retaining him beyond his current 10-day contract, Singer adds.

As for the center spot, Singer observes that the Nuggets traded Isaiah Hartenstein last season and then let JaVale McGee walk in free agency over the summer. Now, with Hartenstein and McGee playing well for other teams in the West (the Clippers and Suns, respectively), Denver is on the lookout for a backup center to match up with opponents who play bigger lineups.

Nikola Jokic is the only true center on Denver’s roster. Most of the players who handle the backup minutes at the five, including JaMychal Green, Jeff Green, Zeke Nnaji, and Bol Bol, are forwards.

The Nuggets have already traded away a pair of future first-round picks and three second-rounders, so they may prefer to offer young players like Nnaji and Bol in trade talks. Their ability to make any meaningful upgrades will be limited, but I wouldn’t expect them to make a major swing at the deadline anyway, since they won’t have Porter available for the postseason and don’t know what they’ll get from Murray — this probably isn’t the year to go all-in.

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