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Nuggets ‘kicked the tires’ on Cory Joseph trade

Cory Joseph

The Denver Nuggets have reportedly taken a long and hard look at the possibility of acquiring any of the two Indiana Pacers point guards in Darren Collison and Cory Joseph. According to Sam Amick of USA TODAY (h/t Zach Lowe of ESPN), the Nuggets have had discussions with the Pacers about a deal that would get them Collison. In a separate report by Marc Stein of The New York Times, it was also revealed that the Nuggets also studied the viability of trading for Joseph, who is Collison’s backup in Indiana.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported last week that Denver has discussed Darren Collison deals with the Pacers. (Collison will miss the next few weeks after undergoing knee surgery, the Pacers announced Monday.) Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Monday that Denver has looked into Smart. They’ve also kicked the tires on Cory Joseph, league sources say, but Joseph has a $7.9 million player option for next season. Only $2 million of Collison’s deal is guaranteed. Unless they know Joseph will decline that option — hard to tell — the salary difference matters to Denver.

Clearly, the Nuggets are wary that they might just waste an asset for a player like Cory Joseph who could leave them in the offseason by picking up his player option. Indiana, too, might no longer be willing to move Joseph after learning that Collison will sit out a few weeks to recuperate from a recent knee surgery.

On the season, Joseph is averaging 7.8 points and 3.1 assists on 25.8 minutes per game.