Las Vegas - We made it to the desert, to see the Denver Nuggets play a little summer league ball. Up first for the Nuggets is the Atlanta Hawks. The Nuggets have a plethora of guys to watch for heading into tonight's game, and the week in general. The Hawks on the other hand ... not a ton of eye appeal on their roster.
The Hawks feature four year veteran Greg Smith, Mike Muscala (whom the Nuggets worked out a couple years ago), Jon Horford (Al's brother), Abraham Millsap (Paul's brother), and undrafted rookie Brandon Ashley. You can check out the rest of their roster by clicking here.
On the other side, the Nuggets have some interesting guys on the team. We get our first looks at Emmanuel Mudiay and Nikola Jokic. We get to see the development of Gary Harris, Erick Green, Ian Clark, and Jamaal Franklin.
Point guards: Mudiay is the future, even though he's a bit of an unknown to some - he should be the starting point guard for years to come in Denver. The battle between Erick Green and Ian Clark will be one to watch. Clark is an unrestricted free agent (the Nuggets declined to tender the qualifying offer) and Green has a non-guaranteed deal. Both guys could come to camp, after Vegas, and battle for the third point guard spot. It would be wise for the Nuggets to keep one of these youngsters around to see how they develop. But with Nikola Radicevic waiting in the wings (perhaps he comes over for the 2016-16 season), the team could afford to sign Jameer Nelson and part with both Green and Clark. It'll be up to them if they stick around.
Gary Harris: We are all eager to see how he performs with regular minutes out here. Will he find his shot? Will he be aggressive attacking the rim? How does his defense look? All things to watch for with him.
Nikola Jokic: The Serbian big man will play his first game in a Nuggets uniform and plenty of people will be watching closely. Can he handle the strength and athleticism of the competition he's sure to face here in Vegas? What does his shooting look like? Does he really have three-point range? What does his handle look like, his passing, his defense, his movement ... lots of great questions and excitement surround him.
Joffrey Lauvergne: We got to see a little of King Joffrey last season, but focus on what he does this week. Are his post moves coming along? Is he moving well? He has been dealing with a foot infection, and might be a little limited - but he's going to try to play though it.
Surprises? Last season Jerrelle Benimon surprised coaches, media, and fans with his play. He showed a knack for rebounding and was a key member to the summer league team. Could Alen Omic be the surprise? Keep an eye on Ryan Broekhoff and even on Jamaal Franklin. Franklin has a non-guaranteed deal with Denver, and will have to play well to stick with the team. He may also get a camp invite, so Vegas may not be make or break for him.
What will you be watching for?