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Rumor: Nuggets’ 2 top trade targets to replace Jerami Grant

Nuggets trade deadline

Jerami Grant was a key piece of the Denver Nuggets’ run to the Western Conference Finals last season. However, the Nuggets were unable to retain the 6-foot-8 forward this past offseason as he looked to become more of a focal point of an offense, a role he could not get in Denver had he stayed. With Grant moving on to the Detroit Pistons, the Nuggets were left with a hole in their rotation, and they’re still looking to fill it.

Paul Millsap has lost a step or two in his age-36 campaign. Promising forward Michael Porter Jr. still has inconsistencies on the defensive end, while Will Barton doesn’t have the necessary size to handle the likes of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, or LeBron James in the loaded West.

With the trade deadline coming up, rumors suggest the Nuggets are looking to essentially find a replacement for Grant. According to Mike Singer of The Denver Post, Denver is looking to trade for either Sacramento Kings veteran Harrison Barnes or Orlando Magic high-flyer Aaron Gordon as a Grant replacement.

Barnes has proven to be a steady and reliable option at both forward positions through his nine-year NBA career. Though spending the past couple of seasons in Sacramento, he does have championship experience, with two NBA Finals appearances under his belt with the Golden State Warriors.

Barnes is having a solid 2020-21 campaign for the Kings, averaging 16.3 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field this season. Despite being out of the play-in picture as of now, Sacramento is hesitant to trade Barnes because owner Vivek Ranadive doesn’t want to tank. 

Meanwhile, Aaron Gordon has already made up his mind that he wants out of Orlando. Many teams are reportedly interested in acquiring the 25-year-old.

Gordon hasn’t particularly lived up to the billing of the No. 4 overall pick the Magic hoped he would be when they drafted him in 2014. Still, perhaps a change in scenery, joining a championship contender like Denver, and playing alongside an elite superstar center in Nikola Jokic could unlock Gordon’s true potential.