As many of you now know, a blockbuster trade went down in the NBA. Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news at 9:42 PM MST on Sunday night letting the world know that DeMarcus Cousins has been traded to the Pelicans.
According to ESPN, the full deal should be submitted to the league office Monday, and looks like this:
This is a Nuggets blog, so I’m not going to focus on the Lakers reportedly passing on Boogie because they didn’t want to part ways with Brandon Ingram (that is something our sister site Lakers Lounge might want to tackle). I’m going to focus on the ramifications for the Nuggets, and discuss whether or not this forces Denver’s hand.
The Nuggets are currently sitting 2.5 games up on the Pelicans, and the addition of Boogie certainly catapults the Pelicans into the playoff picture. The Nuggets made a small trade last week, but after the shockwave sent through the NBA last night, I have to ask, do the Nuggets have to make a big move?
Multiple times throughout the season, Coach Malone and other front office personnel have repeatedly stated that the goal for the season was to make the playoffs. With Boogie joining Anthony Davis in New Orleans, this looks like it will be a much tougher task. Yes, Boogie and the Brow could take some time to mesh, but regardless the Nuggets have to be feeling some pressure. If the front office is fine with finishing 9th or 10th in the standings and trying to make some off-season moves to propel themselves into the playoffs next year the Nuggets should stand pat. That being said, the team has really started to make some strides in recent months and has a ton of assets to be a major player at the deadline.
Both Paul George and Jimmy Butler would make perfect sense with this team, and I think the Nuggets should be willing to go all out to acquire either of these superstars. The Nuggets roster is full of young talent, and trying to make small moves and acquire more draft picks seems to be counter-intuitive for a franchise that has had recent sustained success at making the playoffs.