Denver Nuggets: Pass or pursue on three rumored NBA trade deadline targets

DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 18 (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 18 (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic, Houston Rockets: P.J. Tucker
Denver Nuggets, NBA trade deadline (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Should the Denver Nuggets pass on or pursue rumored trade target P.J. Tucker?

The Denver Nuggets have a defense that ranks in the middle of the pack this season, and sources say they are eying a household defender on the trade market to improve that.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania ($$), the Nuggets are among several contending teams expressing interest in veteran forward P.J. Tucker from the Houston Rockets. Tucker has seemingly been on the trade block for months, and with several contending teams reportedly pursuing him, it seems unlikely that he will remain a Rocket past the deadline.

The most compelling attribute that Tucker brings to the table is the relentless defensive presence he possesses that allows him to guard multiple positions at a high level. That stature makes him a feasible target for Denver, as he would provide a substantial boost on that side of the ball in the postseason. If the Nuggets have to square off against the likes of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, or Kawhi Leonard, having a robust defender like Tucker on the roster would be beneficial.

Tucker’s defense would be a great addition, but the team must consider that he is also having one of his worst seasons on the offensive end production-wise. The veteran is averaging just 4.4 points while shooting 36.6 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from behind the arc, making a minimal impact on that side of things this year. However, with a reputation as one of the best corner 3-point shooters in NBA history, the Nuggets could take the gamble with the hope that he could turn things around.

On the books for just under $8 million this season, Tucker would also be a relatively affordable option for the Nuggets to target in a trade. For a team that could stand to add some support on defense, Denver’s interest in P.J. Tucker is justifiable.

The Verdict: Pursue