Nuggets GM with shockingly honest answer to why he traded Bones Hyland

Bones Hyland, a second-year guard for the Denver Nuggets, was blossoming into an impactful scorer off the bench. He was averaging 12.1 points per game and shooting 37.8% from beyond the arc, making him an attractive asset for teams seeking an affordable contributor with potential for growth.

Surprisingly, Nuggets GM Calvin Booth traded him to the Clippers during the most recent trade deadline. In an open discussion with The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor about building and maintaining a dynasty in Denver amidst the challenges of the new salary cap, Booth candidly revealed his reasoning behind keeping Michael Porter Jr. and parting ways with Hyland.

One of Booth’s initial moves was trading Bones Hyland, a talented young guard known for his scoring ability but lacking in other areas. Despite his youth and promise, Hyland was only traded for two second-round draft picks. The Nuggets wanted to avoid having too many similar players on their team.

“I knew we couldn’t have two guys who were weak defenders, and we couldn’t have two guys who were young and more focused on themselves,” Booth explained. “Mike earns $30 million and is one of the NBA’s best shooters. So, there’s no place for you, Bones.”

It may seem harsh, but such ruthlessness is necessary for front offices at times.

With the Clippers, Hyland will have the opportunity to showcase that he can be more than just a scoring threat off the bench. He will back up Russell Westbrook and face high expectations. However, the reality is that Michael Porter Jr., standing at 6’10” and being an excellent shooter, provides defensive coverage that Hyland at 6’3″ cannot offer.

If you want to delve deeper into this story, it’s worth reading O’Connor’s entire piece, which explores the challenges not only facing Denver but also other teams like Milwaukee, Boston, Golden State, and Phoenix. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement makes it nearly impossible to maintain a powerhouse team, regardless of whether you built it through the draft or not.


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