Proposed Trade Sends Nuggets $100 Million All-Star

Jarrett Allen

Getty Jarrett Allen

Following their elimination in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Denver Nuggets must think about how they can rebound. One way in which they could is by re-tooling, like trading away Michael Porter Jr., to whom they will owe plenty of money.

The Sporting News’ Stephen Noh outlined a trade in which the Nuggets can do that while benefiting the core in a May 21 story. He proposed the following trade between the Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Nuggets receive: Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert

Cavaliers receive: Porter Jr., No. 28 pick in 2024 NBA Draft

Noh explained why the Nuggets would want Allen and LeVert on the team.

“For the Nuggets, getting a one-time All-Star in Allen would help bolster their rim protection and give them another athletic lob threat to put alongside Aaron Gordon and Jokic. Allen would be the most overqualified backup in the league or allow the Nuggets to play a huge lineup and bully opponents. LeVert would give them some much-needed shot creation, which they were missing against Minnesota.”

Allen made the All-Star team in 2022 and will enter the fourth year of a five-year, $100 million. LeVert would give the Nuggets a scorer in their second unit. Their bench’s lack of scoring played a role in their elimination.

Nuggets Urged to Trade Michael Porter Jr.

The Nuggets will pay a hefty sum for Porter Jr.’s services going forward. After the Minnesota Timberwolves ended their season, it’s questionable if Porter’s skillset is worth keeping. The Denver Gazette’s Mark Kizla explained why the Nuggets are better off trading their former lottery pick.

“A far bigger change is demanded to return this team to legit championship contention in a Western Conference that will only be tougher next season,” Kizla wrote in a May 20 story. “The Nuggets need to reconfigure the roster by trading Porter, who disappeared when the team needed him most against Minnesota, missing nine of a dozen shots in Game 7 and finishing with 9 points.”

He added that the Nuggets’ depth hurt their chances in the playoffs.

“This Denver roster was simply too thin to stand up and defend its title,” he wrote. “During the postseason, Jokic looked tired, once musing that maybe it would be nice if he could clone himself. [Jamal] Murray was battered, with injury too often leaving him a shell of Playoff Jamal.”

There’s no denying Porter’s talent, but the Nuggets can’t bank on an excellent starting five and a weak rotation outside of that. Doing so prevented them from repeating.

Michael Porter Jr. Admits to Being Distracted

Porter Jr. dealt with some family struggles throughout the season. His brother Jontay was banned by the NBA for gambling and his other brother Corban has been put in jail.

After the Nuggets lost, he admitted to reporters, per Kizla, that those issues affected him. At the same time, he acknowledged that he has to be better at separating work life from home life.

“I’m not going to sit here and act like it wasn’t a burden, and I wasn’t thinking about it all day, every day,” Porter said. “But that’s still no excuse. I’m a better player than I played in this series. I’m a better shooter than I shot in this series. In the NBA, you have to be able to separate your off-the-court matters with your on-the-court-play.”

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