Denver Nuggets 2018 NBA Draft rumor tracker

Denver Nuggets Player Jamal Murray during the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery at the Palmer House Hilton.
May 15, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Denver Nuggets Player Jamal Murray during the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery at the Palmer House Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Mile High Sports 2018 NBA Draft rumor tracker. Any and every verifiable report involving the Denver Nuggets will be kept up to date from most recent to least recent as we approach the NBA Draft in the post below.


Michael Porter Jr. “may end up” falling all the way to the Nuggets with the 14th pick

Mar 16, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Missouri Tigers forward Michael Porter Jr. (13) goes for a rebound with Florida State Seminoles center Christ Koumadje (21) and guard PJ Savoy (5) during the first half in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the start of the 2018 NBA Draft, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has reported that one of the top prospects in the draft, Michael Porter Jr., is slipping into the later portion of the lottery.

Wojnarowski went on to say that Porter falling means that the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers will have a decision to make on him. Here is his full quote:

“Right now, in the lottery, the Clippers at 12 and 13, and the Nuggets at 14 are preparing for the possibility that Michael Porter Jr. may end up all the way down there and they will have to make a decision on drafting him.”

Porter does fit a need for the Nuggets being that he is one of the more highly-touted wing players in the draft, but his medical outlook has been said to be rough.


Denver Nuggets are “in discussions” with the Memphis Grizzlies  for 4th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft

Nov 24, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) defends against Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) in the fourth quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Denver Nuggets are one of seven teams “in discussions” with the Memphis Grizzlies for a deal that would net Denver the 4th pick in the draft while also taking on Chandler Parson’s remaining contract.

Here is the full excerpt from Givony’s story on the Grizzlies trade talks for the 4th pick:

“The Memphis Grizzlies are in discussions with a number of teams to trade the No. 4 pick in the draft, league sources tell ESPN. Any such trade would likely include Memphis forward Chandler Parsons, whose contract is considered an albatross because of his knee problems.

“The Grizzlies have several potential trade partners, as the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics and LA Clippers have shown varying degrees of interest in a deal, a source told ESPN.”

Givony is also reporting that the Grizzlies do not expect the “most serious offers” until when they are on the clock and teams know who is still available. This report is also consistent with Adrian Wojnarowski’s earlier report that the Nuggets were looking to trade up in the draft.

Chandler Parsons is still owed $49.2 million over the next two seasons. Denver actually has the right assets to make a trade interesting for the Grizzlies. Both Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler — if Chandler opts into the final year of his contract before the NBA Draft — would be expiring contracts that would match salaries if Denver attempted to send some package of draft picks instead of Jamal Murray in a deal. If the Grizzlies want Murray, a deal of Faried, Darrell Arthur, and Murray works under CBA rules regardless of what picks are attached.

Regardless, Denver is involved and has the means to make a serious run at acquiring the 4th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.


Atlanta Hawks are targeting Denver as a potential trade partner in their attempt to move up in the 2018 NBA Draft

Jan 10, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) is fouled by Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee (24) as guard Gary Harris (14) defends in the fourth quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

According to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, the Atlanta Hawks — who have been previously linked to the Nuggets as a potential team to absorb Kenneth Faried’s contract —  are using their two first-round picks, 19th and 30th, to attempt to move up in the draft. Scotto went on to say that the Hawks are targeting Denver’s 14th pick and one of the Clippers’ two first round picks, 12th or 13th.

Denver has now been connected to the Hawks multiple times so one of two things could be happening: either the Hawks have been leaking this information hoping to get Denver to call them up and have a conversation, or there have been real tangible talks between the two franchises. Only time will tell what the situation actually is.


Denver Nuggets may not feel “under the gun” to move off of salary until the 2019 NBA trade deadline

Apr 3, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler (21) in the first quarter against the Indiana Pacers at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

According to Matt Moore of The Action Network, with the 2018 NBA Draft rapidly approaching, the Denver Nuggets do not feel “under the gun” to move off of any salary until the 2019 trade deadline.

This is an interesting update because if Denver does not find a way to move off of some salary, they will likely be $9 million into the luxury tax prior to attempting to bring back Will Barton. That also includes the losses of Devin Harris, Richard Jefferson, and Torrey Craig as well. So, Denver will be virtually unable to sign any free agents outside of the mini mid-level exception while losing three rotation players.

As the rumors continue to circulate, it is becoming more and more clear that really every scenario is on the table and there will not be a common consensus on what the Nuggets plans are until they trade their pick or select a player with it.


Denver Nuggets are reportedly seeking “suitors for both Kenneth Faried’s and Darrell Arthur’s contracts”

Feb 9, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur (00) reacts after a play during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

As rumors continue to swirl as the 2018 NBA Draft approaches, the Denver Nuggets continue to be mentioned more and more frequently. The Nuggets “remain highly active in trade talks,” according to many sources, including Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated.

Fischer is reporting that Denver is not just looking to use the 14th pick as leverage to move off of disgruntled backup power forward Kenneth Faired, but also Darrell Arthur, one of the Nuggets’ most important veteran leaders in the locker room.

Here is the full quote from Fischer:

“The Nuggets remain highly active in trade talks, sources say. Denver has consistently sought suitors for both Kenneth Faried’s and Darrell Arthur’s contracts, attaching the No. 14 pick in discussions.”

At this point, there have been multiple reports saying that the Nuggets have explored using the 14th pick to clear salary. On the other hand, there have been reports that Denver has bee looking to move up in the draft, as outlined below.

All that is known is that Tim Connelly has been working the phones and remains highly active leading up to Thursday’s draft.


Denver Nuggets are among teams looking to move up into the “top five or six” picks in the 2018 NBA Draft

Feb 27, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) and guard Gary Harris (14) talk in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Just days prior to the 2018 NBA Draft, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was on TV and reported that the Denver Nuggets are trying to move up in the draft.

“Denver, at fourteen, would like to move up,” Wojnarowski reported.

Prior to Denver coming up in the conversation, Woj was talking about how the Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, and Memphis Grizzlies were “fielding a lot calls” surrounding the second, third, and fourth pick in the draft. Woj also brought up the Los Angeles Clippers as another team looking to move up in the draft.

Here is the video clip thanks to Trey Mitchell:

Wojnarowski continued to report that Denver is looking to get into the “top five or six.” To do so, they would likely have to trade one of Jamal Murray or Gary Harris and it is unclear if they would be willing to part with the assets necessary to move up that far in the draft. Here is the full quote from Woj:

“Denver would love to get up higher in this draft,” Woj said. “It remains to be seen whether they’re willing to give up the assets to do that. They’d love to get up into the top five or six.”

So far, this is the first that anyone has reported that the Nuggets are looking to move up in the draft. Previously, there have been reports that Denver has looked into pairing Kenneth Faried with the 14th pick to move off of his salary and possibly move back in the draft.

All that is known is that pretty much everything is on the table for this draft. Seemingly every pick is up for grabs and this will be the first of many rumors to surface prior to Thursday night’s draft.


Atlanta Hawks are reportedly “willing to accommodate” a Kenneth Faried trade “for the right price”

Jan 27, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

According to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Hawks are willing to facilitate a trade to absorb Kenneth Faried’s salary as long as Denver returned the favor with draft picks, young players, or both.

Here are the full quotes from Cunningham:

“The Nuggets are aggressively seeking to shed salary by trading forward Kenneth Faried, and the Hawks are willing to accommodate them for the right price, according to a person with knowledge of the NBA trade market.”

“The Hawks would seek draft picks, young players or both as part of a deal with the Nuggets or any other team that wants to reduce payroll. The Nuggets own the No. 14 overall pick in next week’s draft, and their expendable young players include recent draft picks Malik Beasley and Tyler Lydon.”

Moving Faried could open up many more opportunities once free agency rolls around. If Denver wants to be able to be able to sign any players that are not currently under contract with the Nuggets, they need to shed at least one sizable salary and, being that Faried was out of Malone’s rotation entirely, it seems that he would be the first player to go.

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