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Nuggets open to trading future pick for wing defender, sources say

The Nuggets are actively in search of a perimeter defender ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, sources told The Denver Post.

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The major obstacle they’ve run into has been their available trade chips and, specifically, the aggregate contracts they’d use to acquire such a defender, one source said. The goal, with next season in mind as well, has always been to land a player who wouldn’t be just a rental.

Given how hamstrung the Nuggets are in terms of their flexibility, they’ve even signaled a willingness to discuss their 2027 first-round pick, according to a source. Whether that might land one of their 3-and-D targets is unclear, but it’s an indication of how aggressive the Nuggets are trying to be ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.

From a broader perspective, it’s also an indication of the organization’s urgency to take advantage of Nikola Jokic’s best years.

In order to land a rotation-level player in return, the Nuggets would almost have to use JaMychal Green’s $8.2 million contract (player option this summer). The eight-year veteran has the ability to veto any trade, which makes trading him to any non-contender a difficult proposition.

The Nuggets also have the expiring contracts of Facu Campazzo ($3.1 million), Austin Rivers ($2.4 million) and Vlatko Cancar ($1.8 million) to compile for salary-matching purposes in a potentially bigger deal. Like Green, Rivers has veto power on any trade.

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Campazzo has fallen out of the rotation, and there’s at least some sentiment that the Nuggets could find a team where he might have more playing time over the latter portion of the season, sources said.

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