The Nuggets are poised to finish the season with a record over .500, and they’re in good position if they want to take on higher-seeded teams in the postseason. There’s some talk that Denver could be looking at trading away one of their stars this offseason, but it seems like GM Arturas Karnisovas has other plans for now.

The “Nuggets’ Curious Decision to Stand Pat Signals Cautious Optimism Regarding Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.” is a blog post that discusses the Nuggets’ decision to stand pat at the trade deadline. The article includes a paragraph on the trade between the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers, which included Michael Porter Jr.

Nuggets' Curious Decision to Stand Pat Signals Cautious Optimism Regarding Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

There’s an old cliché that getting an injured player back on the floor is just as important as making a trade deadline deal in the NBA. The Nuggets in Denver are hoping this is the case.

The Nuggets were one of the few clubs who had not completed a single trade by the time the clock struck 3 p.m. EST on Thursday. That leaves Nikola Jokic, the reigning MVP, to lead Denver through a difficult Western Conference playoff battle on his own.

The 30-24 Nuggets, to be fair, aren’t simply a one-man show. However, it will need more than the Joker’s talent to lift his Mile High running mates in order to upset giants like the Phoenix Suns or Golden State Warriors this playoffs.

But what if there was assistance on the way? Both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. might be coming to rescue the day, based on Denver’s deadline inaction and eyebrow-raising statements from the front staff.

At the trade deadline, the Nuggets lost out on the chance to bolster their defense surrounding Nikola Jokic.

Denver went into the trade deadline with a superstar at the top of his game. So there’s no need for a complete redesign of anything basketball-related. Nonetheless, the Nuggets attempted to correct certain issues but fell short of the afternoon deadline.

According to Mike Singer of the Denver Post, the Nuggets are looking for a wing defender who is under contract for numerous seasons. They were even prepared to give up their first-round selection in 2027 in order to get a vital role player.

Even with a future first, the Nuggets didn’t have many trade pieces at their disposal. Given his $8.2 million salary, JaMychal Green was nearly expected to be included in any transaction. The eight-year veteran, on the other hand, has a no-trade clause that he’d almost definitely use if Denver made a deal with a non-contender.

Denver also had the expiring contracts of Facundo Campazzo, Austin Rivers, and Vlatko Cancar to work with for wage matching. Rivers, the most sought of the three, does, however, have the power to reject any agreement.

The Nuggets, for what it’s worth, made a couple of off-the-radar transactions before of the deadline. In a three-team deal to acquire veteran guard Bryn Forbes, Denver traded injured reserves P.J. Dozier and Bol Bol, as well as a 2028 second-round selection. Through 11 games, the 28-year-old is averaging 9.9 points and 38.8 percent three-point shooting on an expiring $4.5 million deal.

DeMarcus Cousins, an experienced big man, was also signed to a 10-day deal by Denver. Cousins has averaged 6.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in 13.2 minutes through five games, with another 10-day extension likely after the deadline.

Denver may be counting on Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. to make a comeback.

Some good news coming from #Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly is a character in the film Tim Connelly, on @AltitudeSR, on the status of both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., saying he thinks they will physically cleared to return “hopefully in the not too distant future.”

— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) February 11, 2022

The Nuggets have a six-game winning streak. They’ve done it with just a little aid from Porter Jr. and none at all from Murray.

Porter Jr. only played in nine games before getting back surgery that was thought to be season-ending. The 23-year-old was averaging 9.9 points a game, a significant drop from the 19.0 he was averaging a year ago. Murray, a 24-year-old guard who tore his ACL in April, is currently working his way back into action.

When healthy, the two promising youngsters join Jokic in forming a fearsome trio capable of winning the West. And according to Tim Connelly is a character in the film Tim Connelly, Denver’s president of basketball operations, that trio could be reunited soon (h/t: Altitude Sports).

“It’s all up to them.” We’ll clear them in the not-too-distant future, and then they’ll have to figure out when and if they’re ready.”

Tim Connelly is a character in the film Tim Connelly

Nuggets fans worldwide may breathe a sigh of relief after hearing Connelly’s statements. While neither celebrity has a clear return date, the executive revealed that both of their recovery periods are progressing as planned.

At first, it seemed like Jokic would be playing on his own this season. In that case, the Nuggets could have felt forced to not squander his MVP-caliber season by sitting him down at the deadline. With Connelly’s assurance that Murray and MPJ are close, Denver believes it will soon get all the aid it needs.

The Nuggets are a championship contender because to the combination of Jokic, Murray, and Porter Jr. w7YujSnwrI

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With a record of 30-24, the Nuggets may confidently begin their playoff preparations. Though their ceiling may be lower than they’d prefer once they arrive.

Denver has the eighth-highest offensive rating in the NBA and the 17th-highest defensive rating. Despite the Joker’s best efforts, the Nuggets spent most of the season hovering around.500, and were just a game above.500 one month ago. However, they’ve been able to recover in recent weeks, winning seven of their previous ten games.

However, if Murray and Porter Jr. both return, this squad has the ability to make a lot of noise in the playoffs.

Denver had 48 Murray games and 61 MPJ games in 2020-21, along with an MVP Jokic. It resulted in a 47-25 record, which was good enough for third place in the West. Denver had all three stars available in the playoffs the year prior, when they were on the bubble. The ultimate outcome was a trip to the Western Conference Finals, where they were defeated by the eventual Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers.

The Nuggets will benefit greatly even if just one injured star returns. If both players return, they will have the makings of a club capable of winning a seven-game series against anybody.

Basketball Reference provided all statistics, while Spotrac provided contract data.

Nikola Jokic’s all-around brilliance makes him great, but the Nuggets want him to be more selfish. RELATED: Nikola Jokic’s All-Around Brilliance Makes Him Great, but the Nuggets Want Him to Be More Selfish

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