Nuggets get back on track against Pelicans, make no Bones about it

Jan 31, 2023, 10:33 PM
Bones Hyland...
Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images

The Bones Hyland trade smoke has quickly become a fire in Denver, as the Nuggets shop the charismatic second-year guard ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline.

Hyland was removed from the Nuggets game after five rough minutes off the bench in the first half. He was replaced by rookie Christian Braun, who also struggled in a bench unit led by Bruce Brown, who shifted from wing to his natural guard.

Hyland never re-entered the game and has been pulled from the rotation in two of his last eight contests while missing a game for a reported finger sprain in the middle.

The Tuesday night 122-113 win over the New Orleans Pelicans power by Nikola Jokic’s 26 points, 18 rebounds and 15 assists was on national TV. TNT’s  Chris Haynes reported  hat Hyland is open to being moved to another team in hopes of a larger role.

Hyland has led the Nuggets bench unit, playing 21 minutes a night with a pretty high usage rate during his stints. His captivating shooting led to him being named to the Rising Stars Game for the second-straight season.

Yet it’s his lackluster defense and the Nuggets hopes to win right now around two-time MVP Jokic which has him now on the outside looking in.

The trade smoke started earlier this month and has only built since. The rumors say the Nuggets are looking for yet another defensive wing, to follow in the footsteps of Brown, Braun and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, all three of whom they acquired this offseason. But it will leave the Nuggets with a hole at backup PG and leave them short on perimeter playmakers and shot-creators,

Hyland is dripping with potential but that potential is not as high of what Denver may be able to accomplish this season.

But could Michael Malone and Calvin Booth be wrong here—not only about the future of Hyland but the present and what is actually needed to take the Nuggets deep into postseason?

If Denver’s brass does determine that the Nuggets lack something, a Hyland trade may be the easiest route there due to limited draft assist and an established core.

The Nuggets still lead the west, and have extended that lead to 2.5 games over Memphis despite losing three-of-four coming into Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Pels, who were in third place for much of the season have lost nine straight without Zion.



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