The Denver Nuggets are looking to get over the hump this season. After being the only team in the league to make each of the last two conference finals, the Nuggets are banking on internal development from a number of players alongside the brilliance of Nikola Jokic to get them to the NBA Finals.
Perhaps the player who needs to take a leap the most is Jamal Murray, who needs to show that his magnificent performance in the NBA’s Orlando Bubble is sustainable and capable of giving Denver a second superstar. It’s not a bad bet to make, because Murray is one heck of a player, and in what must be an endorsement of what he can become, a new report indicates that the team has no plans on trading him, even for a former league MVP.
According to Mike Singer of the Denver Post, the Nuggets refuse to include Murray in any deal that might pop up for James Harden.
But a league source said Tuesday that Murray would not be traded. His transcendent postseason run in Orlando reaffirmed why the Nuggets gave him a max contract extension last summer and underscored why they view him as a franchise cornerstone, along with center Nikola Jokic.
ESPN had previously reported that Denver and Houston had talks about a potential deal for Harden, although there is no word on what those conversations entailed. We can probably make some assumptions here — Michael Porter Jr., for example, seems like someone who would have to be included in a Harden deal — but barring a major change of heart, we can safely assume that Murray will not be going anywhere. If that’s the case, the Rockets likely won’t be jumping at a Denver offer, but depending on how MPJ performs this season, it might be worth revisiting closer to the deadline.