The Denver Nuggets are two wins away from making franchise history and winning their first NBA title heading into Game 4 against the Miami Heat Friday evening.
Apparently, that’s not enough for general manager Calvin Booth and Co. Why not make league history? For the first time in the modern history of the NBA, a team playing in the Finals has pulled off a trade.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Denver has acquired the 37th pick in this month’s NBA Draft as well as a first and second rounder from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a protected 2029 first rounder.
If you don’t think this makes much sense, you’re not alone. Why would Oklahoma City deal away three picks for a protected first rounder more than a half-decade down the road?
It seems that general manager Sam Presti is looking to spread out the numerous first-round selections Oklahoma City boasts moving forward. In fact, it was slated to have four first-round picks next year.
As for the Denver Nuggets, they’ll acquire the least favorable of those four first rounders. They included a top-four protected pick from the Houston Rockets, a top-10 protected selection from the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers first-round pick. That’s in addition to Oklahoma City’s original first rounder.
Over the short-term, Denver picks up a high second-round pick in the June 22 NBA Draft. The team was originally slated to have only one pick in the annual event (40th overall). That has now changed.
The Nuggets are attempting to find depth on their roster via a cheap route in order to keep their championship window open. It worked out with 2022 first-round pick Christian Braun, who played a big role in their Game 3 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
Booth has done a tremendous job drafting with the limited resources that the Nuggets have. Now that he’s added three picks over the next two drafts, that’s going to be magnified further.
As for the Oklahoma City Thunder, it’s no surprise that they’ve made the first trade of the NBA offseason. Presti has been more active than any general manager on this front over the past several years. Even then, this one is a bit confusing.