The Denver Nuggets have managed to stay afloat this season despite the fact that their big offseason acquisition, Paul Millsap, went down with a wrist injury that required surgery and has kept him out since November. The team is 26-25 on the season and is narrowly holding onto the eight seed in the Western Conference as we approach the trade deadline.
Millsap is slated to return sometime after the All-Star break, giving the Nuggets the 1-2 frontcourt punch they envisioned when he was acquired to go along with Nikola Jokic. But if Denver has its way, Millsap won’t be the only “new” addition to the team for the stretch run.
According to Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports, Denver has its eye on bolstering its backcourt by picking up a starting point guard before Feb. 8. It even has its eyes on one player in particular, even if it is struggling to convince the Indiana Pacers to give him up.
But Denver will likely make a move of its own before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, as the Nuggets are known to be shopping for a veteran point guard who could allow Will Barton to return to his super sixth man role. According to two people with knowledge of the situation, they have serious interest in the Indiana Pacers’ Darren Collison (12.8 points, 5.3 assists per game as a starter) but have, thus far, been rebuffed. Collison, whose Pacers (28-23) are fighting to hold onto a playoff spot, has a team option worth $10 million on his deal for next season. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because trade talks aren’t typically discussed publicly.
Additionally, USA TODAY Sports reported that Denver tried to acquire George Hill this past offseason before he decided to join Sacramento.
The team has seen two of its young standouts in the backcourt, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray, perform well this season, with the explosive Barton put into a starting role alongside the two of them in recent games. Who knows if the team’s pursuit of a point guard will work and change that dynamic, but no matter what, the Nuggets look like they may be a team to watch as we approach the trade deadline.