Nikola Jokic Free Agency Destinations? Jamal Murray Trade Rumors? Mike Malone on the Hot Seat?

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four
Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four / Harry How/GettyImages

The Denver Nuggets are fresh off a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers and are headed for the NBA Finals for the first time since, well, ever. The only other time the franchise has made the Finals was in 1976 under head coach Larry Brown in the ABA. People were still wearing Denver Rockets shirts to games. And yet despite this unprecedented accomplishment, all people want to talk about is how no one is talking about the Denver Nuggets or Nikola Jokic.

The thing is, Denver should try to enjoy these last moments of being "ignored" by the national media. The same national media that voted their five-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA center MVP twice. But that doesn't matter. The Nuggets want the A-block so we should give them all the A-Block topics.

Mike Malone on the Hot Seat?

Like why is Mike Malone still their coach? How many Mike Malone On the Hot Seat? chyrons have we missed out on because everyone is ignoring the Nuggets? After taking the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals in The Bubble, the team won just one more game the next season and lost in the second round. They followed that up with one more win and nine more losses and lost in the first round. Mike Malone, coming off his seventh season with Denver, having never reached the NBA Finals with a two-time MVP would most certainly have been fired last summer if he did the same thing with any other franchise. There are Coach of the Year award winners and championship-winning coaches fired every damn year and Malone hasn't done any of that for Denver.

Jamal Murray Trade Rumors?

Then there's Jamal Murray. Did you know that Jamal Murray is going to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025? How much longer is he going to want to live in Nikola Jokic's shadow? Jokic wins MVPs, but Murray has been just as integral to Denver's success. Especially, in the postseason where he has excelled, averaging 27 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and nearly 2 steals a game during the 2023 playoffs. When does he get to carry his own team? He's the kind of player who went to Kentucky so he would probably love to be a star in a basketball-crazed major city like New York or Los Angeles. And don't you think he'd be a natural fit for Heat culture? Did you know that Murray grew up an hour outside Toronto? Do you think he might want to go home to play for his hometown team? He would fetch a very nice price on the trade market. Do you think the Nuggets have had any conversations with other teams? It's going to be hard to pay him, Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. what they're worth.

Nikola Jokic Free Agency Destinations?

And how about Nikola Jokic? The Joker signed a record 5-year extension with Denver last summer, but he's got a player option coming up in 2027. Certainly teams will be clearing cap space to make a run at Jokic that summer. And you know how he isn't always smiling on the court? Makes you wonder if he's unhappy. Does he have a problem with the coach? What's going on in the locker room? Is the team at all worried about the influence of his brothers? Is he preoccupied by horses? Do you think he's ready for a change of scenery? Did you know 11 teams have zero players signed through the 2026 season? That's a lot of cap space to make Jokic a max offer to pair with whoever he wants to play with.

These are the kinds of things that the Nuggets have missed out on. If these are the questions and narratives that Denver fans want, well, just wait and see what happens if they win the Finals. Then they're the defending champions and that stuff comes with the trophy and rings. Just ask Mike Budenholzer and the Bucks about the attention.