Matt Moore: Quick note: the general reaction from sources close to the Nuggets regarding reports that they are “frontrunners” for a Simmons deal is general confusion. “Who would we even trade?” is a common refrain.
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Matt Moore: I inquired about the suggested idea that Jamal Murray would be the centerpiece of a trade. “Not sure if that’s more insulting to Jamal or us to be honest” was the response.
Any potential deal would have to include Gary Harris or Will Barton, if not both, to match salaries, which would leave the Nuggets extremely thin on the wing. As rumors circulated about a potential deal to acquire the disgruntled superstar, another league source told The Post that Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray was never included in any discussion.
The Nuggets aren’t trading Jamal Murray, a league source told The Denver Post, as rumors circulate about Denver’s potential interest in acquiring Houston’s disgruntled superstar 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.
And what seems even more clear as Jokic wades deep into his third season of playing alongside Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton and Paul Millsap is that any move shaking up Denver’s starters appears increasingly unlikely — and unwarranted. In conversations with numerous people around the team, there has been a strong sense of optimism about where Denver sits. No one thinks this team has hit its stride just yet. But Jokic has returned to MVP candidate form, players like Harris are finding their footing, and shots have largely begun to fall.
Furthermore, the Pelicans insisted that any potential deal for Davis had to include Nuggets rising star Jamal Murray. That was a non-starter for the Nuggets, who a month ago finished their most successful season in a decade.
There has been much discussion about the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes and how the Denver Nuggets could potentially fit into the equation. Yet, the Nuggets have not been reported to have interest in trading for the All-NBA forward. The reason seems to be because they will not part with any piece of their young core. A league source has told Mile High Sports that the Nuggets young core of Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, and Nikola Jokic are all “untouchable” in trade talks. That young trio is looked at as the future of Nuggets basketball and they are being treated that way by the front office.
For Jokic and Murray, this is pretty much business as usual. They both have been considered untouchable for the majority of their NBA careers. For Harris, things have not been as stable. Just over a year ago, during the 2017 NBA Draft, it was Harris who was rumored to be involved in trade talks. Reportedly, Harris would have been sent to the Indiana Pacers with Kevin Love coming to Denver in a three-team deal that would have also sent Paul George to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, after another year full of improvements and high-level production, a league source has told Mile High Sports that Harris has worked his way into being considered a franchise cornerstone just like Jokic and Murray. Harris has earned his status as an untouchable player through hard work and constant growth as a player.
This is your first experience with the crazy NBA off-season and rumour mill. How are you handling it? Murray: It’s different knowing I could be in Cleveland right now. I could be in Minnesota. I could be anywhere in a couple days. It’s kind of nerve wracking because you don’t know what’s going on and there are so many rumours. I just have to stay ready and prepared for any opportunity. SN: How many texts have you gotten about it? Murray: I don’t really text a lot of people so it’s good to have nobody texting you about it. [laughing]
They poked around with Denver, but the Nuggets drew a line at Jamal Murray, sources say. Those teams had to weigh the possibility of Butler bolting in 2019, which cooled the market a bit, sources say.
There is not much evidence, at least not now, that Indiana got close with anyone. Denver made a solid offer for George, roping in assets from a third team, per league sources, but the Nuggets were hesitant to part with Jamal Murray, sources say. (Nikola Jokic is rightfully untouchable.) The Pacers may regret this outcome. George can opt out after next season, and he’s probably not going to make an All-NBA team this time around — precluding Indy from offering him a mega-extension that would blow away anything rivals could dangle.
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October 19, 2021 | 5:05 pm EDT Update
Jared Weiss: Celtics announce Jaylen Brown has cleared COVID protocols but is still questionable for tomorrow’s season opener in New York as he ramps up his activity. Al Horford remains in the protocol and is out.
James Plowright: Terry Rozier on Bouknight “He’s special, he’s a guy that probably won’t win ROTY but in a couple of years down the line he’ll be a hard matchup, he’s a starter. He’s special and I don’t say that about too many rookies”
Harrison Wind: Michael Malone on Nikola Jokic entering the season: “I think he’s in a good place…I think he’s a little bit, probably, fatigued, like most first time dads are. That’s not something that is out of the ordinary. This is life. We’ll help Nikola get through it. That’s where it can’t be all Nikola every night. Other guys have to step up and bring their game and contribute to the cause. We know we’re capable of doing that. The challenge is how consistently can we do that?”