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Denver Nuggets GM Tim Connelly: We Sought Nikola Jokic's Approval Before Aaron Gordon Trade

DENVER (CBS4)- The Denver Nuggets eight-game winning streak came to a screeching halt Sunday afternoon as the Boston Celtics used a late 40-8 run to rout the Nuggets 105-87. Despite the loss, Denver has successfully turned their season around from their disappointing 1-4 start. Since then, the Nuggets are 33-15 and posted their first eight-game winning streak since winning 15 in a row in 2013.

The headline move at the NBA trading line was picking up forward Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic on March 25. The move worked like wonders as the Nuggets won seven in a row with Gordon in the lineup by an average margin of 11 points. Before the Nuggets added Gordon to the roster, Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly made sure the move was approved by his All-Star center.

Tim Connelly
Tim Connelly (credit: CBS)

"It starts with Nikola (Jokic). I think he is the best player in the world. It would be really short sighted of us to do something impactful without talking to him," Connelly said recently on Mad Dog Sports Radio.

"You got to give guys a voice. If they hate a potential move, they will give you pause. If they love it, it will get them more excited. And if kind of in between, you will have to trust your gut."

Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon
Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The move has worked well as Gordon has averaged 11.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in the eight games he's played so far. Most importantly, he fills in the role as the top wing defender the Nuggets sorely needed as they will need him to guard the likes of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Luka Doncic in the postseason.

Gordon could be the final piece to the Nuggets puzzle of contending for their first championship. Jokic is having an MVP caliber season averaging 26.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 8.8 assists. Connelly admits Jokic's low profile could hurt him when it comes to MVP votes at the end of the year.

"I think what hurts him a little bit on a national level is he is not a self-promotional guy. He's not on social media guy. He just wants to play basketball, be with his family and when he is back home be around his horses, He's a simple guy," Connelly said.

Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets drives on Bobby Portis of the Milwaukee Bucks at Ball Arena on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Connelly believes if voters focus on Jokic's impact on "winning and his availability," then they would see "a lot of reasons why he's clearly the MVP."

The Denver Nuggets (34-19) sit in 4th place in the Western Conference and will take on the Golden State Warriors Monday at 8 p.m.

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