3 Affordable Michael Porter Jr. Replacements For Nuggets

NBA Analysis

The Denver Nuggets received some negative news regarding Michael Porter Jr. on Sunday night that could wind up having detrimental effects on their 2021-22 season. Porter is in danger of missing the rest of the NBA season due to a nerve issue in his back that could require surgery, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. 

“Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. is dealing with a nerve issue in his back that could jeopardize his season, league sources told The Denver Post.

“The Nuggets have been vague about specifics of the injury and when Porter might be expected back. They have given him a timeline of a week to show improvements before considering other treatment options. Another back surgery is a possibility, sources said.”

Mike Singer – The Denver Post

Michael Porter Jr. has been out since November 9, when he appeared to injure his back on a botched layup attempt, and the specifics of the injury have seem to get worse as time has gone on. Initially said to be dealing with back tightness, it was revealed by head coach Michael Malone last week that the young forward could miss an “extended period of time” and now this nerve issue in his back seems to be the worst news the Nuggets could have received. 

Already dealing with star point guard Jamal Murray being out as he continues to rehab from his torn ACL last April, the Nuggets’ firepower is going to be even thinner now. Their championship hopes are definitely in doubt and a lot more weight has been put on the shoulders of Nikola Jokic and Will Barton. 

Guys like Jeff Green, Austin Rivers, and P.J. Dozier will certainly see their roles increase in the second-unit for Denver, but we should not count out the Nuggets making a move ahead of the trade deadline either. 

Already being about $22M over the salary cap for this season and being right under the tax line, Denver does not have a lot of room to make a big trade, but they do have two smaller trade exceptions they could look to utilize from trades involving R.J. Hampton and Isaiah Hartenstein last season. 

The Nuggets were not afraid to make moves at the trade deadline last year, as they acquired Aaron Gordon and JaVale McGee to bolster their frontcourt at the time, so their willingness to make more moves this year should not be questioned. 

Expectations should be that the Denver Nuggets look to replace Michael Porter Jr.’s production with what they have on their roster, but one of these three players could definitely prove to be an asset if traded for. 

Josh Jackson – Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons are rebuilding this year and as a result, they are going to be active at the trade deadline in terms of trying to acquire more youth and draft picks.

While he is only 24-years-old and formerly the fourth overall pick in 2017, Josh Jackson is in the final year of his contract and a very tradeable player. 

After the Suns traded Jackson to the Grizzlies in 2019, many believed that the young forward’s chance to shine in this league had passed, but Josh Jackson has done a good job of working himself into a key bench player on the wing in this league. 


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