With the Denver Nuggets just two wins away from winning the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, you would think that would be the only thing the organization is focused on right now.
It turns out that isn’t the case.
Instead, the Denver Nuggets are already out making deals for this offseason to try and make sure this won’t be their last trip to the Finals.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nuggets made a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder involving a bunch of draft picks. The deal sends the Nuggets the worst of 4 first rounders the Thunder own for next year’s draft, the 37th pick this year, and a second rounder next year in exchange for a protected 2029 1st rounder.
NBA Finals trade: The Denver Nuggets are acquiring the least favorable of Oklahoma City's first-round picks in 2024, the 37th pick in the 2023 draft and 2024 second-round pick for a protected 2029 first-round, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 9, 2023
The move sets the Nuggets up to keep putting together rosters that can compete in the near future.
With Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr all on huge contracts, the Nuggets need to be able to keep getting production out of players on cheaper deals.
They got that production during the regular season from Christian Braun and Zeke Nnaji this year and Braun has continued to contribute during the playoffs.
That 2029 pick also might not end up being any better than the 2024 1st rounder the Thunder are giving up.
Jokic is only 28. Murray is 26 years old and Porter Jr is only 24. If the Nuggets can keep that core together, they could still be contending in the Western Conference.
For the Oklahoma City Thunder, the move pushes one of their first rounders out to a time when they might actually have room on their roster for whoever they pick.
Even after this deal, the Thunder are currently still set to pick 3 times in the first round next year and will have multiple picks each of the two following years. They also already have a bunch of young talent on their roster.
The Denver Nuggets don’t have many needs for their current roster, but with 2 2nd rounders this year and a pair of 1sts next year they’ll have options to keep improving after this year’s success.