Within the past month, both Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez approached Nuggets management about the possibility of being traded, a league source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Beasley and Hernangomez were key parts of Denver’s rotation in 2018/19 but had less consistent roles this season in large part due to Jerami Grant‘s arrival and Michael Porter Jr.‘s emergence.
Both players sought more consistent playing time and will now get the chance to earn an increase in minutes in Minnesota. Beasley and Hernangomez, both of whom are eligible for restricted free agency at season’s end, could even become long-term building blocks for the Timberwolves if they finish the 2019/20 season strong.
Here are a few more notes and leftover items on the 12-player, four-team trade that also involved Atlanta and Houston:
- Beasley was a popular trade target leading up to the deadline — a league source tells Singer that at least 10 or 12 teams had inquired on the fourth-year shooting guard in talks with the Nuggets.
- Although there has been speculation that the Nuggets intend to use the first-round pick they’re acquiring from Houston as part of a potential package for Jrue Holiday, that wasn’t the team’s plan when it made the deal, Singer writes in a separate Denver Post article. The general belief is that the Pelicans will hang onto Holiday through the deadline anyway.
- The trade helps clarify a crowded rotation in Denver and gives the Nuggets some options for subsequent moves, says Nick Kosmider of The Athletic.
- Daryl Morey and the Rockets are going all-in on their small-ball philosophy by essentially swapping Clint Capela for Robert Covington, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. The deal shows just how unconventional Houston is willing to get, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who explores the reasons why the team was okay with moving on from Capela.
- Meanwhile, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic examines what Capela will bring to the Hawks and what the move means for the franchise’s present and future. As Kirschner points out, Atlanta wasn’t willing to give up a first-round pick for Andre Drummond, but did so for Capela, who is locked in for several years at a reasonable price. Capela should fit in with the Hawks’ up-tempo offense and help anchor their defense, Kirschner adds.
- Count Trae Young among those excited by the Hawks‘ acquisition of Capela. “Getting Clint, it’s big-time,” Young said, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter links). “I already shot him a text and talked to him. I’m excited about getting him. … There’s been times late in games where we just couldn’t get a stop. All we needed was one stop. Having him makes our defense that much better.” Young’s enthusiasm is a good sign for the Hawks, since there were rumblings earlier this season that the second-year star wanted the team to make a move.