These NBA Draft nights at Pepsi Center all tend to blend into the same. You get information about a draft pick, tweet stuff out, try to make sure you are one step ahead of Woj (not possible) and get as much information on each draft pick. It's a nice process and it helps that the Nuggets are tremendous hosts who provide pizza, drinks and snacks.
Those snacks were almost my undoing ... as tweeted out by Matt Moore of CBS Sports who I was sitting next to:
Sources inside Nuggets media room report @KingOfThornton nearly dies from choking. Probable to return.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) June 23, 2016
So that happened.
Outside of that, it's in my considered opinion that the Nuggets did just about as well as they possibly could last night without actually pulling off a blockbuster trade. They benefited from a team making a questionably high draft pick for a second straight year (Sacramento Kings last season with Willie Cauley Stein and this year with the Boston Celtics taking Jaylen Brown at 3) and that lead to the player the Nuggets wanted falling directly in their laps. Jamal Murray.
Murray's positives and faults have been laid out by our writing staff here much better than I ever could. His desire to be "on ball" is very interesting (as stated by himself post Draft and in Tim Connelly's post game press conference). That will throw a new wrinkle in the Nuggets draft/roster stew. A two guard who the team projects as a "combo" guard who will want to distribute and have the ball in his hands. That makes for a very curious combinations with Emmanuel Mudiay.
As for Juancho Hernangomez, I attended his work out and saw a bit of what he can do. Needless to say that, away from the audio recordings and cameras the Nuggets were extremely hyped about Juancho. To the point where one executive couldn't stop smiling talking about the stretch four from Spain. His game is probably perfectly suited for the modern NBA, but what that means is ... we don't know. There's a ton of unknowns associated from a general public standpoint when it comes to this pick, but I tend to trust Connelly and his staff when it comes to European prospects.
Additionally though, we aren't sure that Juancho will be coming over immediately this next season.
As for Malik Beasley, the rangy 2 from Florida State University is someone that was described to me as a long term project. Someone who can take the time to learn without getting into the starting lineup. He was one of the first players the Nuggets brought in to workout and he has shown flashes of great shooting but needs a significant amount of work in order to excel in this league.
Overall, this is both a great and confusing draft for the Denver Nuggets. They drafted two additional players who can play the two spot in the league on top of Gary Harris and Will Barton. These things need to be reconciled. Last night Tim Connelly said that the starting job is Gary Harris' to lose. But you don't draft someone at 7 in the draft to ride the pine. With Murray's desire to play with the ball in his hands also adds another wrinkle. What the Nuggets do with all these aspects of play make for a very intriguing offseason. Will there be trades? What will the Nuggets do in Free Agency?
Both great and confusing night for the Nuggets. Will be very interesting to see where they go from here. Despite the Nuggets protests to the contrary they DID get significantly younger last night. Does this mean the team will invest fully in youth? It has yet to be seen.
Here is Tim Connelly's complete post-draft press conference. Well worth a listen.