Ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline (Feb. 9), Denver Nuggets guard Bones Hyland surprisingly finds his name in the rumor mill. Despite being a fan favorite and his second season, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reports that the Nuggets have “begun gauging the trade value” of Hyland.

There are myriad factors in Denver’s rumination of his future with the team.

Hyland is under contract with the Nuggets for two more seasons. However, “an anticipation of [Bruce] Brown’s next payday, plus Hyland’s upcoming second contract, has the tax-conscious Nuggets considering their options in the backcourt,” Fischer reports.

Furthermore, “occasional clashes between Hyland and head coach Michael Malone’s old-school mentality have also been a factor.”

Note that Hyland, averaging 12.4 points and 3.1 assists per game at 22-years-old, isn’t having his talent questioned.

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But Bones’ backcourt mate Bruce Brown has been playing well both defensively and offensively. The fifth-year pro is averaging a career-high 11.3 points and 3.6 assists per game this season while shooting 39.9 percent from 3-point range.

Still, Denver just two other fan favorites in Monte Morris and Will Barton last offseason. Although it’s a business, fans would have every right to be a bit disenchanted by the moves.

“In exchange for Hyland,” Fischer adds, “the Nuggets have expressed an interest in defensive-minded frontcourt players… Moving Hyland, while prepared for the risk of losing Brown in free agency, will also have Denver considering returns that could net another reserve point guard, sources said.”

“As far as potential suitors, former Denver president Tim Connelly, now piloting the Timberwolves’ front office, is still considered a big supporter of Hyland.”