It's seeming more and more likely that the Denver Nuggets will trade guard Bones Hyland prior to the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 9.
Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports first reported that the Nuggets were exploring trade options involving Hyland. Fischer explained that Hyland has occasionally clashed with head coach Michael Malone's old-school mentality and that Denver wants to get back a defensive-minded frontcourt player (plus a pick).
NBA insider Marc Stein is hearing the same thing regarding Hyland's availability, adding that Denver also has "concerns about his defensive shortcomings and some recent tensions over playing time."
Given that a Hyland trade is one of Denver's only options to improve its roster, Bones "is suddenly regarded as one of the league’s most likely players to be dealt before the Feb. 9 buzzer," per Stein.
Bruce Brown is expected to decline his $6.9 million player option next offseason, which is even more reason for Denver to find another defensive specialist prior to the deadline.
Hyland is in his second NBA season and the 22-year-old has averaged 12.3 points, 3.0 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 2.2 threes and 0.7 steals, while shooting 40.0% from the field, 37.9% from three-point range and 86.3% from the free-throw line.
The Nuggets are currently 34-16, which is the best record in the Western Conference and the second-best record in the NBA. Denver currently has the NBA's top-ranked offense, scoring 115.5 points per 100 possessions.
The 2023 NBA trade deadline is Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. ET.