NBA Trade Rumors: Nuggets Deal JaMychal Green to Thunder for No. 30 Draft Pick

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 13, 2022

Denver Nuggets forward JaMychal Green reacts after dunking against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, April 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Denver Nuggets reportedly traded forward JaMychal Green and a 2027 first-round draft pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday in exchange for the No. 30 selection in the 2022 NBA draft and a pair of future second-round choices.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported full details of the deal, including the expectation for Green to pick up the player option in his two-year, $16.4 million contract for the 2022-23 season:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Green is expected to exercise his $8.2M contract for 2022-2023. Deal gives Nuggets flexibility to use a $6.4M tax mid-level exception or an $8.2M trade exception in offseason. Nuggets expect to be a tax-paying team. Thunder have $31M in cap space to absorb Green salary.

Green played a limited role for the Nuggets in 2021-22. His 16.2 minutes per game represented his lowest figure since the 2014-15 campaign with the Memphis Grizzlies. He averaged 6.4 points and 4.2 rebounds across 67 appearances.

In addition, the 31-year-old University of Alabama product shot just 26.6 percent from three-point range. It represented a sharp decline after he knocked down 39.5 percent of his shots from beyond the arc over the previous three seasons, which gave him value as a stretch 4.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone praised Green in February for making the most of his chances in what became a crowded frontcourt rotation.

"But having a guy like JaMychal Green, who's a pro, who's a man, who's a veteran and who just brings toughness and physicality every single night, and he's, kind of, the head of that second unit, in terms of that defensive frontline, protecting the basket, that's terrific," Malone told reporters.

The Thunder featured a lot of small-ball lineups throughout this past season with Darius Bazley and Isaiah Roby (both 6'8'') often filling the frontcourt spots. Green (also 6'8'') fits that mold, which should make for a smooth transition.

OKC is in the midst of trying to turn a corner in its rebuilding process with a young core that's led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (age 23), Luguentz Dort (23) and Josh Giddey (19), so it's unclear whether Green will stick for the long haul.

That said, the former G League All-Star should provide solid reserve minutes and veteran leadership for the Thunder at a key turning-point part of the rebuild.

The financial flexibility is the biggest part of the deal for Denver as it seeks to make some additions in the offseason after getting knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors, who are currently facing the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

It's unlikely the player the Nuggets select at No. 30 will make an immediate impact since the draft class doesn't feature a ton of depth. The draft is set for June 23.