FanPost

Did the Nuggets win the draft?

My apologies, I have written this post elsewhere but would like to hear from Nuggets fans about this draft.

In Basketball there is generally too much talk about "winners" and "losers." We analyze trades from the standpoint of who won and who lost and we do the same with free agency, and drafts. Most of the time there is no clear cut "winner", since life isn't so absolute.


That being said it's still interesting to think about which team had the best draft or succeeded, viewed through the lens of what each team wanted/needed.

When I view it this way I come away thinking that the Denver Nuggets were very effective on draft night. They traded the no 11 pick to the Bulls and got the no. 16 and 19 picks in return. In a fairly deep draft such as this one that is a great trade, but when you couple it with WHO they actually acquired, their talents, and the holes they fit in for the team it makes a lot of sense.

16. Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic brings something that isn't prevalent in the NBA anymore. He is a center that is very aggressive on both ends of the floor, and he has the big body to back up his aggression. He also showed impressive lateral quickness given his massive frame when guarding the Pick and Roll. While we won't be able to tell until the season plays out, I give this pick an A. Nurkic provides the Nuggets with another option at Center (a position that has been a struggle with Javale/Mozgov's inconsistency) and some skills that they lack on both ends. His biggest problem will be acclimating to the feel of the game. I fully expect him to foul a lot and get frustrated as he tries to navigate NBA defense, but I think Brian Shaw is a great defensive mind and should be able to get something out of him.

19. Gary Harris. It is fairly shocking that a player with the statistics and talent Harris has fell as far as he did. However, in the modern NBA teams are leery when it comes to undersized players. Harris brings very good defense and shot making to a Nuggets team that is in dire need of both on the perimeter. A very solid pick and potentially a steal. It also gives Brian Shaw another defensive minded guy on the roster. He also won't be asked to contribute too much too soon with the return of Afflalo and Gallo potentially.

41. Nikola Jokic. Not much is known of Jokic so I can't speak at length on his play. From what I've read and seen he appear to be a high basketball IQ player that projects to be a stretch 4. Yet again, this gives Shaw a weapon that he can utilize, as the team was in desperate need of better spacing offensively. They also are well served by having a big that can actually pass the ball.

Overall, the reason I champion this Nuggets draft is the fact that they didn't over-think it. They took who they believed were the best players on the board and the picks also made sense from a team construction standpoint. They could have gambled, they could have reached, and they could have been too fearful to even use their pick, but instead they took a page out of the Spurs handbook and got guys they felt had the requisite NBA IQ and could be effective in their system.

Note: I am not a Nuggets fan. In addition, I understand the Bull's reasoning for trading up to get Mcdermott and respect their logic. I think the trade benefits both sides.

I am curious how Nuggets fans view this draft. I have no history with this team so I don't know any particular biases fans may have. I'm just approaching this as a fan who spent way too much time accruing information about this draft.

Write respectfully of your SB Nation community and yourself.

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