The NBA draft will take place tomorrow night on ESPN (June 24th), coverage starting at 5 p.m. Mountain. There is little doubt who will be the first player taken (John Wall, Wizards), so why should Nuggets fans watch? It's always a good idea to see who our competition picks up and there is a shot Denver grabs a pick at some point.
For those of you that would like to chat during the draft, I'll set up a Live Draft Thread so that we can discuss the picks, trades and everything else going on tomorrow night. So come back and let's get some banter going!
What are the chances the Nuggets trade into the draft tomorrow? I'd say about 97.675% ... is that a logical percentage? Who knows, but it sounds fun!
The intriguing aspect to the draft is that there seems to be a surplus of guys who could log some minutes at the power forward spot. NBA teams are starving for size and for guys who can play inside so there could be a lot of teams on the outside looking to get involved ... that's where the Nuggets come in to play.
Already we are hearing that the Boston Celtics are thinking about selling the 19th pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder just pulled off a deal for their third pick in the first round by acquiring the 18th pick and guard Daequan Cook from the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to trade into the draft.
I don't follow the college game as closely as I should, but with the faces changing every season now, it's hard to keep up with who is coming, who is going and who the heck these kids even are. So, I tried to do a little studying and a podcast I was listening to cut off right as the guys were starting to talk about the players ... what gives? Hvino did a nice job breaking down some possible big men that could be available in the later half of the first round or even the second round.
If Denver can jump into the first-round or even the second-round to grab a young big, I would be thrilled! We all know the Nuggets passed up the chance to draft DeJuan Blair last season and told us the move helped them re-sign Chris Andersen, but now it would be savvy for Denver to swoop in and take a chance on a young guy looking to prove himself. Denver does have Brian Butch and he will be competing for a roster spot by showing what he can do in the Summer League and the Nuggets will add a few other guys to fill out the roster, but I think we'd all like to see the Nuggets trade into the draft and get a guy the fans can be excited about. Butch could be a nice player, but he's not an inside guy and Denver needs another junkyard dog.
Two teams to keep an eye on:
- The Minnesota Timberwolves: They again own three picks with the 4th, 16th and 23rd. Last season they used two picks and traded the third one to Denver (Ty Lawson.) Will they use all three this season? Not if they get an offer ...
- The Oklahoma City Thunder: They also have three picks in the first round and one in the second round. Will they use all three picks or will they combine them to move up or sell any? There is a great chance they move at least one pick as they have the 18th, 21st and 26th picks in the first round.
One team that has already been busy: The Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks acquired Corey Maggettee and the 44th pick in the draft from the Golden State Warriors for Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell. Milwaukee also acquired Chris Douglas-Roberts from the New Jersey Nets for a second-round pick. With John Salmons possibly on the move via free agency, the Bucks replaced his scoring ability. We should see a flurry of moves tomorrow night like these and I for one can't wait for the draft to start!
One guy I'll be keeping an eye on ... Lance Stephenson, formerly of the Cincinnati Bearcats. Stephenson was one of eight players chronicled in the 2008 documentary Gunnin' for That #1 Spot. Lance was just 15 or 16 years-old when he was featured in the film and was already a legend waiting to happen growing up in Brooklyn as he was dubbed "Born Ready." The other players featured in that film? Portland Trail Blazers guard Jerryd Bayless, Rookie of the Year and Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, Kings forward Donte Green, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley, MIlwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings and Duke forward Kyle Singler. Stephenson has some tough competition to keep up with and will possibly be the seventh straight player of the eight drafted in the first round from the film.
It should be a fun draft and there likely will be at least one crazy draft day deal, but will the Nuggets surprise us and trade their way in? Come back tomorrow night and let's find out together.
Photo courtesy of AP Photos