After a beat-down in Toronto, the Denver Nuggets decided to make a splash at the deadline. Bringing in much-needed athleticism and defense.
The Denver Nuggets just put themselves above the rim by trading some good pieces to elevate this squad in Aaron Gordon after their biggest loss of the season. In a year that has seen 25 Joker Jams, Blue Arrow elevating more than usual, and MPJ finally putting fear into opponents when he enters the paint. The Nuggets decided they needed to raise the elevation despite already being a mile above sea level. Ok, I promise to keep the heights of my analogies to a minimum from here on out.
The seriousness of this trade needs to be discussed after all. Aaron Gordon immediately becomes the most athletic player on a roster that already includes the above 3 freaks. Not to mention the ones buried on the bench, Gordon’s Dunk contest snubs are those of lore. Seriously though D-Wade, how do you give a 9 when the dude cleared Tacko Fall? But none of that matters now, and I am positive Gordon will never care about these moments if he can get to a Chip.Embed from Getty Images
If you can’t tell by now, I am extremely pumped about this move. Even with the fact that the Nuggets had to give up a lot of young talent in RJ Hampton and a future 1st-round pick, and the perimeter defense of Gary Harris. But what they get in return with Aaron Gordon and Gary Clark is what you do when you have a top-3 of Jokic/Murray/Porter Jr. It’s wonderful when you are in a market rife with pro-sports front-office dysfunction. To see one that gets it when they have a chance and actually go for it is almost therapeutic.
I can give you the numbers, but they will not do Gordon justice in what he brings to this team. And I know some will say Denver may have given up too much. I just can’t get on that boat. A 1st-rounder 4 years from now, a decent back-up, and a high-ceiling youngster is about par for this type of talent. Gordon’s slash of 14.6 pts/4.2 ast/6.6 rebs will undoubtedly go up on a roster where no-one can double team. He is no longer the feature, he gets to breathe and just ball. The NBA should be worried no matter where Gordon is slotted between the 3-4. It’s 2020 people, who cares what “number” you put next to their position? Just put your best 5 out there and in the best position to succeed.Embed from Getty Images
The length and athleticism of this roster, and especially the starting 5 is astonishing with the JaVale McGee trade adding even more depth to the Land O’ Giants lineup the Nuggets can employ. With a Gordon/Milsap/Jokic/Murray/Porter Jr. starting lineup, you have 4-out-of-5 starters that are 6’7″ or taller. And every one of those guys can put it down as well as hit enough from 3 to scare anyone. Outside of both L.A. squads, I don’t see another roster that can match that size/speed/athleticism. And both those rosters have to be fully healthy, something Denver is finally getting to themselves.Embed from Getty Images
I haven’t even mentioned the all-NBA type defense Gordon is capable of that should infuse energy into that side of the ball we haven’t seen from this team. He’s also a great mentor for MPJ as they are almost identical in body type, but opposite in-game. While MPJ has the sweet-stroke to knock down 3’s with ease, Gordon is a physical banger than loves to take it to the rim. The complement is pure synergy and should elevate both to new levels.
Tomorrow in New Orleans will be a must-see with Zion and company being the first test of this newly tinkered chemistry. I foresee an impressive display of elite athleticism that could become an instant classic with more posters than can be fiscally printed. They better reinforce the rims at the Smoothie King Center, the rafters will shake.