The Denver Nuggets made no trades involving their roster players before the NBA trade deadline, as reported by The Denver Post. However, they traded the rights to Ismael Kamagate to the Los Angeles Clippers for $2.68 million in cash. The Nuggets, who currently share the top spot in the Western Conference standings with Minnesota and Oklahoma City, decided to keep their championship-winning team intact and did not make any major moves.
The Nuggets faced some obstacles that limited their ability to execute beneficial deals. Salary cap constraints, including being over the first luxury tax apron and hard-capped at the second apron, made it difficult to add new salary. Additionally, their most tradable contracts conflicted with their needs, making it challenging to find suitable trade options.
Another factor was the absence of a first-round draft pick available to trade, as the team is prevented by the “Stepien Rule” from being without first-rounders in consecutive drafts. Despite the limitations, the Nuggets’ general manager Calvin Booth has a track record of making the most of late first-round picks, which played a role in their decision.
The Nuggets have enjoyed success with their current roster, with all five starters from last season’s playoff run still in Denver. The only area Booth would consider changing is the bench. This is the first time since the 2018-19 season that the Nuggets have not made an in-season trade involving their roster players.
In their game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nuggets triumphed with a 114-106 victory. Jamal Murray led the scoring with 29 points, followed by Michael Porter Jr. with 27 points. Nikola Jokic contributed 24 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists.
The Lakers put up a fight with Anthony Davis scoring 32 points and LeBron James adding 25 points, along with nine rebounds and seven assists. However, the Lakers were short on guards as D’Angelo Russell sat out due to left knee soreness and Max Christie sprained his right ankle shortly before halftime.
Despite blowing a 15-point lead in the second half, the Nuggets never trailed and finished strong with a 10-2 run. This victory marked an important start to their three-game road trip.
Before the game, the Lakers honored their late legend, Kobe Bryant, unveiling a 19-foot-tall statue outside their arena. The players wore their Black Mamba alternate uniforms, and the crowd chanted “Kobe! Kobe!” in the final minutes to support the Lakers.
In regards to the NBA trade deadline, Lakers’ general manager Rob Pelinka explained their decision not to make moves stemmed from their desire to avoid disrupting team chemistry and potential future deals. With D’Angelo Russell’s improved play, the Lakers opted to keep his tradeable contract for now and potentially make significant moves in the future.
Proper nouns: NBA, Nuggets, Lakers, Ismael Kamagate, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Post, Western Conference, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Zeke Nnaji, Reggie Jackson, Calvin Booth, Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Thomas Bryant, Bones Hyland, Davon Reed, Bryn Forbes, Bol Bol, Boston, Aaron Gordon, Orlando, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, Max Christie, Skylar Mays, Rob Pelinka, Justin Holiday.
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