FanPost

Draft Daze: A Review of the Nuggets NBA Draft History

There have been recent comments back and forth along with an excellent two-part retrospect by Nate Timmons. I took a shot at breaking down every Nuggets draft since the entered the NBA (ABA was a whole other set of rules & adventures... be sure to read the book Loose Balls to get an understanding).

 

For many reasons over the years, The Nuggets, overall have never been a NBA team with a dedication towards home grown talent, or for strong scouting. Reasons include no money, coaches who didn't have time for rookies, more days of no money, more coaches who didn't have time for rookies, overall inept front office management. Plus don’t forget days of having no money; and having a coach with little time for rookies.

 

I looked at each draft member and gave a grade (simple A, B, C, D & F). If the Nuggets traded away their 1st round pick I gave that pick a D because that's not player development. Most 2nd rounders or below I gave no score to unless it was again the Nuggets trading the pick simply to get rid of it (hello Leon PoweDeJuan Blair & Vernon Maxwell).

 

I listed a, hopefully, objective breakdown of each draft. In NBA team building there are 3 parts: 1)The Draft, 2) Trades, 3)Free Agent signings. This is addressing just the draft.

 

Overall, the Nuggets graded out at a C- over their 33 year NBA history. (And for those interested they graded out a D from this year back to 2004).

 

So here ya go, enjoy and tell me what you think.

 

One thing, looking back, that history shows, is Allan Bristow was right and Dan Issell was wrong. The draft of 1997 delivered 3 good NBA players; sadly none were with the Nuggets past the first year.

 

Year

Rd

#

Player

School

Comment

Grade

Overall

Overall

C-

2009

Lawson's a keeper, but threw away two 2nd rounders including a high 2nd rounder and Blair

C

 

1

18

Ty Lawson

NC

Looks like a keeper

B

 

2

34

Sergio Llull

Spain

Draft night trade

C

 

2

37

DeJuan Blair

Pitt

Draft night trade, helping Spurs

C

2008

Traded away 1st rd, had Weems for 1 year

 

1

20

Alexis Ajinca

France

Draft night trade,

D

 

2

39

Sonny Weems

Arkansas

Draft night deal, on team 1year

C

 

2

50

DeVon Hardin

Cal

Draft trade

n/a

2007

No Picks

 

1

21

Daequan Cook

Ohio State

Pick traded

D

 

2

51

JamesOn Curry

OK State

Pick traded

n/a

2006

No 1st rd pick, drafted & traded Leon Powe

 

1

20

Renaldo Balkman

South Caroling

Pick traded, ended up on roster

D

 

2

49

Leon Powe

California

Draft night trade, good role player

D

2005

Two 1st rd picks, neither picks used for need. Drafted Juius Hodge, traded for Kleiza, the player they drafted & should've kept was Jarrett Jack

 

1

20

Julius Hodge

North Carolina State

Bad pick,

C

 

1

22

Jarrett Jack

Georgia Tech

Traded for Kleiza

C

 

2

52

Axel Hervelle

Belgium

Never played for Nuggets

C

2004

Drafted & traded Jameer Nelson, no other picks

 

1

20

Jameer Nelson

St. Joseph's

Draft night trade.

D

 

2

49

Sergei Lishouk

Ukraine

Traded Pick

D

2003

Tough to give too much credit, Kiki  would've drafted Darko

A

 

1

3

Carmelo Anthony

Syracuse

‘Nuff said

A

 

2

46

Sani Becirovic

Virtus Bologna (Italy)

Non-issue

n/a

2002

Drafted Nene & signed Birdman as a free agent. But this was also the year of Skita

C

 

1

5

Nikoloz Tskitishvili

Republic of Georgia

Bad pick

D

 

1

7

Nene

Brazil

Current player

B

 

2

33

Vincent Yarbrough

Tennessee

Functional player for 1 year

C

 

FA

FA

Chris Anderson

Tennessee

1st NBDL signing

B

2001

No picks

D

 

1

11

Kedrick Brown

Okaloosa-Walton

Traded Pick

D

 

2

47

Ousmane Cisse

St. Jude H.S. (AL)

Non-player

n/a

2000

Nobody blocks shots like your Mamadou… actually neither did he come to think of it

D

 

1

26

Mamadou N'diaye

Auburn

Never played for the Nuggets

D

 

2

53

Dan McClintock*

Northern Arizona

Bench player 1year

C

1999

Drafted Posey, Elson turned into a player

B

 

1

18

James Posey

Xavier (OH)

Good player

B

 

2

33

Chris Herren

Fresno State

Non-player

n/a

 

2

41

Francisco Elson

California

Good player

B

1998

Drafted Raef… enough said

C

 

1

3

Raef LaFrentz

Kansas

Bad pick

C

 

1

23

Tyronn Lue

Nebraska

Draft night trade.

n/a

 

2

54

Tremaine Fowlkes

Fresno State

Non-player

n/a

 

2

55

Ryan Bowen

Iowa

Good player

B

1997

Allen Bristow actually selected 3 good players in his 1 year in charge

B

 

1

5

Tony Battie

Texas Tech

"El Busto" had an OK career

B

 

1

10

Danny Fortson

Cincinnati

Draft night acquisition, only on team 1 year, pretty good career

B

 

1

23

Bobby Jackson

Minnesota

Traded after 1year, good pro

B

 

2

42

Jason Lawson

Villanova

Used to acquire Eric Washington

B

1996

The only F in all the grades. Trading Jalen Rose & Reggie Williams

D

 

1

23

Efthimios Rentzias

PAOK (Greece)

Mid '90s version of a salary dump, trade 2players, use draft pick for someone who will never play in the league

F

 

2

37

Jeff McInnis

North Carolina

Good 2nd round pickup, didn’t stay on team long enough

B

1995

The draft they got McDyess

A

 

1

2

Antonio McDyess

Alabama

Pick#15 (Br. Berry) part of deal

A

 

2

44

Anthony Pelle

Fresno State

Non-player

n/a

1994

Jalen Rose… good player

B

 

1

13

Jalen Rose

Michigan

Good player, misused on Nugs

B

1993

Rodney was a very good pick

B

 

1

9

Rodney Rogers

Wake Forest

Good player

B

 

2

43

Josh Grant

Utah

Draft night trade.

n/a

1992

Fonz was an obvious choice. Stith was pretty good pro. Sad irony was Big Shot Bob Horry was taken #12

B

 

1

5

LaPhonso Ellis

Notre Dame

Good player

B

 

1

13

Bryant Stith

Virginia

Good player

B

 

2

46

Robert Werdann

St. John's

Played a couple years

C

1991

Mutombo was a home run; the other two major whiffs

B-

 

1

4

Dikembe Mutumbo

Georgetown

Very good player

A

 

1

8

Mark Macon

Temple

High 1st round bust

c

 

1

18

Kevin Brooks

SWLouisiana

Shooter that couldn’t shoot

C

1990

Good picks, got rid of Mills too early

B-

 

1

3

Chris Jackson

LSU

Pretty good career

B

 

1

16

Terry Mills

Michigan

Only kept 1 year

C

 

2

42

Marcus Liberty

Illinois

Good career for a 2nd rounder

B

1989

Lichti was a very good pick

B

 

1

15

Todd Lichti

Stanford

Pretty good career

B

 

2

42

Michael Cutright

McNeese State

Non-player

n/a

 

2

47

Reginald Turner

Alabama-Birmingham

Non-player

n/a

1988

Jerome was a good pick, but Nuggets marked down for burning a pick (Maxwell) just so you can trade him to your buddy Larry Brown in San Antonio

C

 

1

23

Jerome Lane

Pittsburgh

Good late 1st rd pick

B

 

2

43

Todd Mitchell

Purdue

Non-player

n/a

 

2

47

Vernon Maxwell

Florida

Draft night trade

C

 

3

66

Dwight Boyd

Memphis State

Non-player

n/a

1987

Wasted draft

D

 

1

NA

No First Rd Pick

No First Rd Pick

No Pick

D

 

2

31

Andre Moore

Loyola (IL)

On the team less than 1 yr

C

 

3

54

Tom Schafer

Iowa State

Non-player

n/a

 

4

77

David Boone

Marquette

Non-player

n/a

 

5

100

Ronnie Grandison

New Orleans

Played 4years, none with Denver

n/a

 

6

123

Kelvin Scarborough

New Mexico

Non-player

n/a

 

7

156

Curtis Hunter

North Carolina

Non-player

n/a

1986

Two first rounders, all gone quickly. The player they should've kept was Otis Smith (current Magic GM)

C

 

1

16

Maurice Martin

St. Joseph's

Bad pick

C

 

1

18

Mark Alarie

Duke

Only on Nugs 1year

C

 

2

41

Otis Smith

Jacksonville

Only on Nugs 1year

C

 

3

64

Don Redden

LSU

Non-player

n/a

 

4

87

Anthony Watson

San Diego State

Non-player

n/a

 

5

110

Jon Collins

Eastern Illinois

Non-player

n/a

 

6

133

Anthony Frederick

Pepperdine

Non-player

n/a

 

7

156

Mike Marshall

McNeese State

Non-player

n/a

1985

Blair was a very good pick for mid 1st round. Do you remember the "Get Pete off his seat" campaign?

B

 

1

15

Blair Rasmussen

Oregon

Good Pick

B

 

2

43

Barry Stevens

Iowa State

Non-player

n/a

 

4

89

Pete Williams

Arizona

Nice 4th rd pick, played 1 year

B

 

5

112

Kenny Brown

Texas A&M

Non-player

n/a

 

6

135

Joe Carrobino

Harvard

Non-player

n/a

 

7

158

Eddie Smith

Arizona

Non-player

n/a

1984

One role player for 1 year

 

1

NA

no pick

no pick

No Pick

D

 

2

42

Willie White

Tenn-Chat

Played 1 year

C

 

4

79

Karl Tilleman

Calgary

Non-player

n/a

 

5

103

Prince Bridges

Missouri

Non-player

n/a

 

6

125

Willie Burton

Tennessee

Non-player

n/a

 

7

149

Mark Simpson

Catawba College

Non-player

n/a

 

8

171

Bill Wendlandt

Texas

Non-player

n/a

 

9

194

Cecil Exum

North Carolina

Non-player

n/a

 

10

215

Dexter Bailey

Xavier (OH)

Non-player

n/a

1983

Thankfully Fat Little Pig didn't turn into a trilogy

 

1

15

Howard Carter

LSU

Fat Little Pig Pt 2

C

 

2

37

David Russel

St. John's

Non-player

n/a

 

3

61

David Little

Oklahoma

Non-player

n/a

 

4

83

York Gross

UC-Santa Barbara

Non-player

n/a

 

5

107

James Braddock

North Carolina

Non-player

n/a

 

6

129

Glen Green

Murray State

Non-player

n/a

 

7

153

Maurice McDaniel

Catawba College

Non-player

n/a

 

8

175

Cliff Tribus

Davidson

Non-player

n/a

 

9

198

Bobby Van Noy

Catawba College

Non-player

n/a

 

10

218

Cleveland McCrae

Catawba College

Non-player

n/a

1982

Were the Nuggets even trying in those days?

 

1

19

Rob Williams

Houston

Fat Little Pig

C

 

3

62

Roylin Bond

Pepperdine

Non-player

n/a

 

4

84

Alford Turner

SW Louisiana

Non-player

n/a

 

5

109

Bill Duffy

Santa Clara

Non-player

n/a

 

6

131

Chris Brust

North Carolina

Non-player

n/a

 

7

153

Jeb Barlow

North Carolina

Non-player

n/a

 

8

178

Donnie Speer

Alabama-Birmingham

Non-player

n/a

 

9

200

Dean Sears

UCLA

Non-player

n/a

 

10

220

Mike Phillips

Niagara

Non-player

n/a

1981

A draft of no relevance for the Nuggets

 

1

NA

no pick

no pick

No Pick

D

 

2

34

Kenneth Green

Texas-Pan American

Non-player

n/a

 

5

101

Willie Sims

LSU

Non-player

n/a

 

6

124

Alonzo Weatherly

U. of Denver

Non-player

n/a

 

7

147

Greg Manning

Maryland

Non-player

n/a

 

8

169

Curtis Redding

St. John's

Non-player

n/a

 

9

191

Andrew Burton

Austin Peay

Non-player

n/a

 

10

211

Derrick Rowland

Potsdam State

Non-player

n/a

1980

Tough to penalize a player suffering career ending injuries; but you can't reward it either. Irony is Oldham & Nimphius has serviceable careers, but not in Denver of course

 

1

5

James Ray

Jacksonville

Injury ruined career

C

 

1

23

Carl Nicks

Indiana State

Short career

C

 

2

41

Jawaan Oldham

Seattle

Good career, not in denver

C

 

3

47

Kurt Nimphius

Arizona State

Had a career, not in denver

C

 

3

48

Eddie Lee

Cincinnati

Non-player

n/a

 

3

51

Ron Valentine

Old Dominion

Non-player

n/a

 

4

73

Sammie Ellis

Pittsburgh

Non-player

n/a

 

5

97

James Patrick

SW Texas State

Non-player

n/a

 

6

119

Ernie Hill

Oklahoma City

Non-player

n/a

 

7

143

Tommy Springer

Vanderbilt

Non-player

n/a

 

9

184

Jim Graziano

South Carolina

Non-player

n/a

 

10

202

Earl Sango

Regis College (Denver)

Non-player

n/a

1979

A draft of no relevance

 

1

NA

no pick

no pick

No Pick

D

 

2

30

Gary Garland

DePaul

Non-player

n/a

 

5

102

Larry Williams

Louisville

Non-player

n/a

 

6

122

Odell Ball

Marquette

Non-player

n/a

 

7

144

John Johnson

Creighton

Non-player

n/a

 

8

162

Matt Teahan

U. of Denver

Non-player

n/a

 

9

179

Emmet Lewis

Colorado

Non-player

n/a

1978

Scored on Mike Evans, great career  Nugget

 

1

17

Rod Griffin

Wake Forest

Not a very good pick

C

 

1

21

Mike Evans

Kansas State

Very Good pick

A

 

3

46

Hollis Copeland

Rutgers

Non-player

n/a

 

5

106

Mike Edwards

Texas-Pan American

Non-player

n/a

 

6

127

Robert Heard

Columbus (GA) Coll

Non-player

n/a

 

7

148

Jack Gilloon

South Carolina

Non-player

n/a

 

8

166

Larry Vaculik

Colorado

Non-player

n/a

 

9

183

Tom Schneeberger

Air Force

Non-player

n/a

 

10

198

Phil Taylor

Arizona

Non-player

n/a

1977

Roberts played some, again no real success from this group

C

 

1

9

Tom LaGarde

North Carolina

Not a very good pick

C

 

1

21

Anthony Roberts

Oral Roberts

Played a few years

B

 

3

65

Robert Smith

UNLV

Non-player

n/a

 

5

109

John Billups

Ole Miss

Non-player

n/a

 

6

130

Jim Town

Massachusetts

Non-player

n/a

 

7

148

Willie High

Alabama State

Non-player

n/a

 

8

169

Len Saunders

Florida

Non-player

n/a

1976

 Leagues merged

 

 

 

n/a

NA

no picks

no picks

 

 

 

 

 

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