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Jamal Murray struck rock bottom after sustaining an ACL injury last year, to the point that he had inner fear and contemplations if the Denver Nuggets will ultimately trade him.

“Are you going to trade me?” Murray asked head coach Michael Malone the next day the unfortunate update was publicized, Malone told The Athletic’s Jason Quick.

Murray admitted that he was being swarmed by deep thoughts if he’ll be able to regain his old form or even hold that coveted trade value amid the setback.

“I mean, that wasn’t my only thought,” Murray said. “There were so many doubts: Am I going to be different? Am I going to play the same? Am I going to be worth it? So … being traded was one thing on my mind.”

To comfort Murray, Malone made sure that the wonder guard will still be mindful that the Nuggets will continue to hold him with special regard.

“That’s where his mind was: Maybe I’m damaged goods; maybe they don’t want me anymore,” Malone said. “Obviously, I quickly shot that down and said ‘We love you; I love you. You are not being traded. You are going to come back a better player, there is zero doubt in my mind.'”

Murray was enjoying a robust 2020-21 season, averaging a career-high in points (21.2) and field goal shooting (47.7 percent) until going down with the ACL tear. His recovery took the full season of 2021-2022, a grinding process most especially from a mental standpoint.

In his return this season, situations are still rusty yet for Murray as he is averaging 17.8 markers in 42.9 percent shooting. 

Nevertheless, his game-winning three-pointer against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday could be that needed silver lining to continue regaining of his usual form as one of the best backcourt scorers in the league.

“It’s been a grind, and just to have this moment … I don’t want to get too high, too low, but this is another step in my progress,” Murray said of his winning moment against Blazers.