3 Potential Landing Spots for Wilson Chandler
However, he is also reportedly unhappy with his role with the team. While he has yet to request a trade, it would not be surprising to see Denver move him before the February 23rd trade deadline.
Chandler is owed the remainder of his $11.2 million this season, and he is on the hook for $12 million next season and a $12.8 million player option in 2018-19.
With the expansion of the salary cap, trading him and finding someone willing to deal for him won't be the problem. The problem is getting back equal value in return.
At 29 years old, Chandler is posting career highs with 15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists over 30.2 minutes per game. He has been injury prone in the past, but so far, he has missed just four games this season.
If the Nuggets do trade him, here are three trade partners who make sense for the Nuggets.
Los Angeles Clippers
The most obvious choice for Chandler when it comes to going to a winning team would be the Los Angeles Clippers. But unless the Carmelo Anthony talks fall through, it's probably unlikely that Chandler will head to LA.
The main reason is the most logical trade for Denver to make would be a straight swap of Chandler and Austin Rivers. Unless the Anthony trade talks are dead, the Clippers won't entertain trading Rivers, and they may not even see a Chandler for Rivers deal as benefitting them.
Rivers is also averaging career best numbers this season with a 51.8% effective field goal percentage and a 38.9% clip from three-point range. Both Chandler and Rivers own unflattering -1.4 nERD ratings though.
If the Clippers can't sell high on Rivers as the main piece in a Carmelo trade, getting Chandler back in the deal could still be a small win. Chandler could shore up the Clippers' outside shooting while plugging a hole at small forward that has been a problem for the Clippers for years. And head coach Doc Rivers wouldn't hesitate to trade his son, Austin.
Signing DeMarre Carroll (-0.1 nERD) is looking more and more like an expensive mistake by the Toronto Raptors. If any team in the league is going to be buying at the deadline, it's the Raptors. They need some help at forward if they want any chance at beating the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Chandler could give them exactly that.
Once again, a straight swap of Terrence Ross (0.6 nERD) for Chandler would get the job done and a change of scenery could benefit both of those players. There is also the possibility that the Nuggets ask for Cory Joseph (-1.0) plus one of Toronto's young big men in return. This, too, is a win for the Raptors.
The Raptors have been starved of points from their forwards this season. They rank 28th in total points scored by their forwards this season, and their forwards have a true shooting percentage of just 53.0%, which ranks 22nd in the league. Chandler would improve both of those from day one.
The dark horse in this trade chatter may be the Memphis Grizzlies. They made a seemingly expensive mistake this offseason by signing Chandler Parsons (-1.1 nERD), but imagine if they trade for Chandler to add to their forward depth. If Parsons gets it going, he and Chandler together would be a very tough lineup to defend in the Western Conference playoffs.
The issue for Memphis is finding how to make the deal work. Unless the Nuggets are willing to take on Zach Randolph's (0.4 nERD) expiring deal, Memphis might have to get a third team involved if they end up dealing for Chandler.
However, the benefits of that would be huge for an already solid Memphis team. The Grizzlies rank in the bottom half of the league in three-point shooting at 35.7%. They also rank 29th in effective field goal percentage at just 48.7%. Chandler would immediately help both of those areas for Memphis.
Even if Memphis used him as a sixth man or as insurance for Parsons, his presence would help the Grizzlies not have to rely on young wings in the playoffs. However, while the fit is one of the best, getting Chandler to the Grizzlies would take some creativity by general manager Chris Wallace.
This is a strange year for the trade deadline. A lot of teams are looking at the Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors like they are unbeatable no matter what trade they make.
That makes selling guys like Chandler a little harder this season. However, if a team is looking to the future and wants to bring in Chandler as part of a package, that could also help get him on the move.
The Miami Heat could potentially be selling Goran Dragic (1.8 nERD), and with how unhappy the Denver Nuggets are with Emmanuel Mudiay (-5.6), a package of Mudiay, Chandler, and Jusuf Nurkic (-2.4) could get Dragic in a Denver uniform, especially if the Nuggets throw in a draft pick.
It's going to be an interesting last three weeks before the deadline, but Chandler's chances of being traded look pretty good.