Recently the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and Denver Nuggets have been in discussion about a three-team deal. Headlining the deal would be Paul George to Cleveland and Kevin Love to Denver. Another key aspect of the deal was Kenneth Faried heading to Cleveland as well.
Sounds like a good deal for Denver to get an all-star talent power forward in return for Faried, right? Well don’t forget to read the fine print.
For quite some time as the trade rumors swirled there was one piece missing: what is Indiana getting? Nikola Jokic‘s name was brought up as someone that Indiana wanted but we should be able to safely assume he will stay put. Gary Harris, on the other hand, may have been thrown into the deal to go to Indiana.
Draw the Line on This Trade
That’s where the line needs to be drawn. The Nuggets would be much worse off getting Love in return for Faried and Harris. It wouldn’t even matter if they got another player or two in the deal; Gary Harris is too young and valuable to lose. There’s a reason Indiana is going after the 22-year old coming off a 14.9 point per game season on 50.2% shooting from the field and 42% from three.
It’s become a running joke that Cleveland is always able to rob teams on trades to get quality players for absolutely nothing. So before they use their witchcraft or whatever they use on teams, Denver needs to back out.
Why help an already great team out and lose your assets just to get a player you could get for nothing? Sounds like a simple question but is one that needs to be asked. The answer is that there’s no reason for this deal. The Nuggets need to turn their attention to Paul Millsap.
Why Paul Millsap You Ask?
Statistically, Millsap is just a notch below Kevin Love, but Love’s infamous disappearing acts in the finals would have many believing Millsap is the better player. In his fourth year with the Atlanta Hawks, Millsap is coming off his highest scoring season of his career with 18.1 points per game. Unfortunately, this is at the hands of his most inefficient year at 44.2% from the field.
Mind you, that field goal percentage is still higher than Love’s has been in his last three years with Cleveland.
Millsap is the perfect Nuggets player. He can help stretch the floor as well as being a very willing passer. His game today isn’t really the question, it’s what will his game be like at the end of the 4-year deal they would most likely be signing him to?
At 32-years old his game doesn’t rely on athleticism. At 22, his game didn’t rely on athleticism. So in four years, you can’t expect much to change which is a good thing. His production will probably begin to dip by the time he’s 36, but should still be very serviceable. Not to mention that he’s only played less than 73 games in a season twice in his career before.
Being the Perfect Fit
The four time all-star also brings veteran leadership, defense, and a history of winning. He’s been to the playoffs, a foreign land to most Nugget players, nine times in his 11-year career. He also did this in the cities of Atlanta and Utah, not exactly hot spots in the NBA similar to Denver.
He and his fellow second round pick Nikola Jokic would be a perfect fit alongside each other. Bringing him in without a trade is a no-brainer that Denver should be all in for. Being all in is what it’s going to take as the Hawks are currently working on a sign and trade deal with Millsap. The Nuggets need to get to him before this happens and bring him over while they still can without giving up any assets.