Published Oct 15, 2023 • Last Updated: Oct 25, 2023
On Thursday the Denver Dinosaurs sent two time all-star and two time all-defense wing Derek Bennem to the World Champion Indiana Express. While the Dinosaurs "Killer B's" of Bennem and Briggery underperformed as a duo last season, many were shocked to see Bennem on the move after signing an extension a month ago. Despite their middling record last season, Denver is seen as a potential playoff team. Losing Bennem will hurt their chances, however they did get a nice return from Indy.
In exchange for the star swingman, Denver received Kansas City's 1st round pick in 2028. Boston's 1st round pick in 2029, exciting young PG Marcus Bohm, SF Jared Hobbs and G Kent Warren. Hobbs and Warren are very dependable veterans but the picks and Bohm are the real keys to the trade. Boston is a rebuilding squad, and even though the pick won't arrive until 2029, it could be a valuable asset. Bohm, just 24, is an elite passer and playmaker with an outstanding work ethic. The Denver brass is really excited about his future with the organization. So much so that they signed him to a 3 year extension worth over $40 million.
Bennem wasn't the only player the Dinos lost last week though, (or the only Derek/Derrek) as Derrek Wall signed with the Mamba. Still, the team acted fast in snapping up big man Mike Rhodes to take his place. While Wall is a terrific big man that the Mamba has big plans around, Rhodes may actually be a better fit for Denver. The 6'9'' C/F has bounced around the league for a few years, but his defensive ability could potentially put him among the best big men in the league. He's also known for his shot blocking. Rhodes also handles the ball and passes well for a big man. It's expected he'll get a chance to start this season as Denver looks to pair a defensive minded big with Josh Briggery who has never been known as a star defender.
The team also shipped out last year's starting PG Matt Stockman for veteran C Ryan McKeever. McKeever is a decent defender and a solid locker room presence. He's expected to come off the bench this season. Lastly Denver picked up Nick Slaughter from New York on the same day as the Bennem trade. The 33 year old veteran averaged over 20 points a game for the Metros last season. Originally from the Mile High City, Slaughter returns to a team that needs scoring. Though his minutes may end up coming off the bench as the main option for the second unit.
The Dinosaurs are shaping up to be a very deep team, though perhaps one that lacks star power. Outside of Josh Briggery the team lacks an established star. The team remains active in free agency and the trade market but it's looking like a lot is going to be asked of the team's young players like Smith, Bohm, Barber and Horton.