The NBA’s trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and with that, the Denver Nuggets will have some decisions to make about the state of the franchise.

To date, the Nuggets have only made one major trade during the NBA’s trade frenzy, shipping Jusuf Nurkic to Portland in exchange for Mason Plumlee. Other than this move, it’s been all quiet on the trade front for Denver.

Prior to the trade season, many expected the Nuggets to be among the most active teams at the deadline. The plethora of assets and cap room availability made them one of the top teams to watch as the deadline approached.

The Nuggets are in the unique position of having a mix of veterans, established players and young, rising stars on roster.

With that, the Nuggets are in a prime position to make the playoffs for the first time in three seasons; however, the team is unwilling to mortgage their future just to end that spell. Denver knows their future is bright, and one that holds more promise than just clinching the eighth seed.

“We’ll see what happens with our team,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said ahead of the deadline. “I love the team that we have. We are very competitive, but we are not going to mortgage our future just to be an eight seed. It doesn’t make sense. We are thinking long-term, big picture because we are not satisfied with just making the playoffs. This team has done that for 10 years in a row. We want to be a team that gets deep into the playoffs and ultimately wins a championship.”

With that, Malone added that he doesn’t believe the organization is looking to move anybody specifically come the deadline.

“I don’t think Tim Connelly is up there actively trying to get rid of anybody,” Malone said. “We are 25-31, and I think we are ahead of most people’s projections … Not satisfied but we are pretty pleased with where we are at.”

Nuggets’ that have been directly linked in trade rumors include Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Will Barton, Jameer Nelson and Emmanuel Mudiay.

The organization, on the other hand, has not publicly been linked to any players or deals. All that is known is that Denver is seeking draft picks for Gallo and Chandler.

Rumors tend to fly around this time of year. Already, big chips have moved such as Serge Ibaka and DeMarcus Cousins. Other big names such as Damian Lillard and Paul George have recently been rumored to be on the block.

With all that, Denver has enough assets to deal for a star like Lillard or George, but that would require mortgaging the future, something Malone and the Nuggets are hesitant to do.

Something could change between now and the deadline that could spark the Nuggets interest in auctioning off their assets to acquire a big time, proven NBA commodity; however, for the time being, the organization remains confident in their youth’s ability to develop into the next wave of NBA stars.

“What I really respect about our ownership group with Josh Kroenke and Tim Connelly is that we are not approaching the deadline like we have to make all of these moves,” Malone said. “We are not going to be a reactionary team … If there is something out there that makes sense for us, great. Josh said it recently: Everything we are doing is a big picture approach. If we just focus on this playoff that is a very small minded approach. I think we do ourselves a lot of damage if we do that.

“We love where we are at, we are competitive, and all of our young guys are getting better meaningful minutes. That’s why I think our future is so bright because of Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Juancho Hernangomez. All of those guys are all 21 [22] years old or younger. That’s pretty exciting to me, so hopefully it’s a playoff year, that’s what we are aiming for, we are all committed to that. But if we don’t make the playoffs we haven’t salvaged or mortgaged our future to be an eight seed, and I think you get yourself into trouble when you do that.”

The NBA’s trade deadline is Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. MT.