Denver Nuggets Rumors
Ball was involved in trade discussions with several teams before last month’s trade deadline, with the LA Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks among the teams showing interest, sources said. Some executives came away from those talks with the belief that Ball might be available in a sign-and-trade in the offseason as a restricted free agent.
While Jokic is miles ahead of the field, his point total is right in line with where the winners landed each of the past few seasons. What is different, however, is that there is no clear second-place finisher. Since the league shifted to the current voting format in 2017, second place has earned at least 738 points. Embiid, who received five of the remaining 11 first-place votes, was second with 401 points — not much more than half of that typical amount. Antetokounmpo (no first-place votes, 375 points), the two-time reigning MVP, was a close third, with Damian Lillard (two first-place votes, 67 total votes, 283 points) in fourth and Harden (one first-place vote, 62 total votes, 231 points) in fifth.
Now, the Nuggets will try to surprise people again without Murray. “I mean, I’m the underdog my whole life, to be honest,” said Jokic, who had 17 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds against Miami. “I am kind of used to it. It is normal position for me. “[Playing the role of underdog] gives us a lot of relief. We are not going to be tense. We are just going to play. We just need to figure these 16, 17 games, how we want to play. We need to build it. It is not going to happen in a moment.”
Harrison Wind: Malone on Nikola Jokic: “I really think lately he’s allowing that frustration of the whistle to really get to him, and it’s understandable. I understand and can appreciate. Now with no Jamal and 18 games to go, we need the best version of everybody. But especially Nikola.”