There have been a couple of themes to Mock Drafts I have seen around the league regarding the Nuggets pick. The first is drafting a replacement for Andre Miller with range to fix two problems in the future. Many have said Isaiah Canaan. The second is taking BPA like Reggie Bullock, yet that also takes care of our need for range. Many draft gurus take a look at our stats and see the 25th ranked 3 pt. % which is not going to cut it for a playoff team. So taking that in mind, lets take a look at the top 3 pt. shooters coming out in this draft.
Ben McLemore - One of the top prospects that will stroke it from outside, McLemore's biggest strength is his scoring. He could be a go to scorer off the wing the Nuggets need while Gallo is out, but I fear the price tag is too high.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - Attempting a massive 7 threes per game compared to McLemore's 4.7, Caldwell-Pope certainly isn't gunshy. However, he reminds me of Corey Brewer in that regard, coming out of the same conference and with a quick, inefficient trigger. We would have to trade up to around 8 to get him, but he isn't the answer.
CJ McCollum - This is the guy I want. Standing at 6'3 with a 6'6 wingspan and shooting an astronomical 51.6%, he would immediately create that bench spark that we lacked in the playoffs. If he can develop his court vision, he replaces Andre Miller's <20% with his hopefully >40% 3pt clip. He would require a trade up to about 8 as well, but he would certainly be worth it.
Shabazz Muhammad - An interesting prospect as well, he shoots lefty and can play either wing. I certainly wouldn't be disappointed if we traded up to get him here, but our pick may be better spent elsewhere.
Shane Larkin - This guy has range, shooting sometimes from way behind the arc and putting the ball in, but considering his size, we would have trouble playing him with Ty Lawson, as one of them could be forced to guard someone way taller. So this is a no for me.
Allen Crabbe - Although he only shot 34% this past season from behind the arc, he has demonstrated NBA range with his propensity to shoot from 3-4 ft behind the line a lot. He has great size and wingspan to be a SG and we may not need to trade up for his services either. He's my second choice to CJ McCollum.
Isaiah Canaan - The guy many have prescribed to the Nuggets, he is short at 6'0, but with a 6'5 wingspan, he can be physical with all PGs on Defense and get off his shot over guys on Offense. Not much to say about Canaan.
Reggie Bullock - A guy that I feel could come in and contribute quicker than most everyone due to his diligence on defense. He has great size and a nice stroke to compliment it. He isn't going to be creating his own shot much, but he can stand in the corner and put in threes at a higher clip than Corey Brewer.
Okay, so eight guys, five of which we would need to trade up for. This draft is weak, and there are many guys that could eventually be bench guys, but only a few that would have more of an impact than that, so trading up may be key to getting the best value on guys who can contribute now. Our team has enough projects and needs to fill key holes now if we want to stay in contention this year.
Here is my ideal scenario:
Here's the presence down low the Nuggets are looking for. With a diverse skill set from scoring in the post to making slick passes to playing great defense, Cousins is the perfect big man for Denver to run its half court sets through. Chuck Hayes would actually be integral in this trade as well because it creates a hole at the 4 for him, Anthony Randolph and eventually Danilo Gallinari to compete for.
And with the Seventh Pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets select......CJ McCollum
This helps solve the problems of backup PG with the ability to go dual PG and not lose anything on Offense or Defense
Lawson, McCollum, Stone
Fournier, McCollum, Jham
Iggy, QMiller, Salmons, Gallo
Randolph, Hayes, Gallo
Or, we could do this:
With the Seventh Pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets select.......Cody Zeller
Ya I did that. This pick helps clear up who the starter at the 4 will be, because in order to advance in the playoffs, we will have to have good defense down low at both positions as well as the ability to every person to be a semblance of an offensive threat. This lineup looks alittle better to me:
Iggy, Fournier, Jham
Salmons, QMiller, Gallo
Zeller, Hayes, Randolph
Some may not like Stone at backup PG, but this would help the team begin its transition to a 1 PG lineup at a time. Lawson gets 33-35 min per game, while Stone takes the remaining 13-15 min per game only. Salmons would be the starter at SF until Gallo gets back unless one of our young guys could demonstrate the ability to start and play consistently. However, the pride of this team would be its front court duo of Cousins and Zeller, both of which have the ability to shoot from range and run, as well as play solid defense. These two could combine for 25 pts and 20 rebounds on a nightly basis and change the identity of this Nuggets team. I would be much more excited for this group with Gallinari back than I was with last years group.
Okay, this is big obviously. Yet Josh Kroneke has already shown a propensity to go big, getting rid of his all NBA Coach and GM. He will either make big moves that help us for a long time or destroy us in the next month. All we know is that change is coming to the Denver Nuggets, and all we can do is speculate on what that may be.