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#pounditSunday, July 21, 2024

Nuggets make trade while in middle of NBA Finals

Nikola Jokic with a ball in hand

May 16, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers during game one of the Western Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

While the Denver Nuggets players are working hard to finish off the job in this year’s NBA Finals, their front office is working hard as well.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday that the Nuggets have made a trade while in the middle of the Finals. They are acquiring the No. 37 overall pick in this year’s draft plus a 2024 first-round and second-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Denver is sending a 2029 protected first-round pick back to Oklahoma City in return.

While the NBA trade deadline was in February of this year, a trade like this one is still permissible, even though the Nuggets are currently playing. That is because it involves draft picks and not any players on the Denver roster (per Bobby Marks of ESPN).

For Denver, a team in the luxury tax, the trade gives them a chance to add more cost-controlled talent (something that is really crucial with the new NBA CBA set to be harsher on tax teams and their ability to upgrade the roster). The Nuggets could use these new assets to add a contributor for cheap right now or to draft someone they would stash overseas for later.

As for the Thunder, the move also makes sense for them since Denver may be in a rebuild by 2029 (and since the Thunder themselves might have to tightly manage their fiscal situation by then too). Rest assured, Oklahoma City still has plenty of other future draft picks in their war chest to enjoy.

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