Denver Nuggets Biggest Trades

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Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, star players Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray parading the NBA championship in Denver, Colorado.
(Wikimedia Commons/Milosgr97)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Nov 20, 2023, 1:47 AM
  • Here are the biggest Denver Nuggets trades in franchise history.
  • Alex English leads the list of players that Denver acquired.
  • Other notable players Denver received via trade were Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, and Aaron Gordon.

The Denver Nuggets won the 2023 NBA title, their first championship in franchise history. Because of this dream season run, they became an instant favorite in NBA odds. They were led by the superstar tandem of two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and prolific guard Jamal Murray—another integral part of their success included crucial trades and acquisition of key role players.

Speaking of trades, Denver has been involved in several big trades throughout their tenure in the league, whether it be during the offseason or the trade deadline. These player movements have helped the team to stay competitive and retain their status as contenders, but which trades are considered the biggest in Nuggets team history?

Alex English

In 1980, Denver made a huge risk in trading one of the team’s top scorers, George McGinnis, to Indiana in exchange for Alex English and a first-round pick. That risk turned out to be a great move because English became one of the best players in franchise history. He played for 10 seasons with the Nuggets and helped them reach the playoffs eight times.

The 6-foot-7 forward became the franchise leader in games played (837), minutes played (29,893), field goals (8,953), and points (21,645). Although English wasn’t able to give Denver a title, he was able to steer the team as far as the Western Conference Finals in 1985. Also, the former 1976 second-round draft pick was selected eight times in the All-Star Game during his time with the Nuggets.

Allen Iverson

Denver was part of a huge trade in December 2006, when they shipped Andre Miller, Joe Smith, and two first-round picks to the Philadelphia 76ers for Allen Iverson and Ivan McFarlin. Iverson, the 2001 NBA MVP, was perceived to be the last piece Denver needed to win a title, especially with the team’s strong core of Carmelo Anthony, Nene, Marcus Camby, and Kenyon Martin.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work well for them, as “The Answer” and Denver were booted out of the playoffs in the opening round in 2007 and 2008. In 135 games and less than three seasons, Iverson racked up an average of 25.6 points, 7.1 assists, and 3.0 rebounds. He was also the team leader in minutes per game, with 42 minutes per game.

Chauncey Billups

After the Allen Iverson experiment failed, Denver was immediately in the hunt for a point guard that could potentially end their championship drought, so Iverson was dealt to the Detroit Pistons for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess in 2008. “Mr. Big Shot,” the NBA Finals MVP during the Pistons’ championship run, instantly made an impact by guiding them to three playoff appearances.

The most notable of those playoff appearances was the 2009 run, where they reached the Western Conference Finals, but lost to the Lakers in six games. Billups appeared in 259 games for Denver and averaged  16.9 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.7 rebounds. Billups was also selected to two All-Star Games in 2009 and 2010.

Aaron Gordon

Adding Aaron Gordon to the Nuggets team was an underrated move during the 2021 trade deadline. Gordon, who was Orlando Magic’s fourth pick in 2014, was obtained by trading away Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, and a first-round pick. The high-flying forward quickly brought his double-digit scoring to the team that already had the trio of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr.

Gordon’s impact was fully felt during the Nuggets’ 2023 playoff run, where he averaged 13.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists on top of defending the opposing teams’ top players. His defensive presence and timely offensive performances proved he was the missing piece to the young and hungry team.

Denver Nuggets Biggest Trades

Player AcquiredTrade DetailsYear
Alex EnglishNuggets received: Alex English and one first-round pick / Pacers received: George McGinnis1980
Allen IversonNuggets received: Allen Iverson and Ivan McFarlin / 76ers received: Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first-round picks 2006
Chauncey BillupsNuggets received: Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess / Pistons received: Allen Iverson 2008
Aaron GordonNuggets received: Aaron Gordon and Gary Clark / Magic received: Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton and a first-round pick 2021

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.