The Denver Nuggets have been in rebuilding mode for a couple of years now, so it only makes sense that their roster lists some fairly young recruits as the 2017-2018 season approaches.
I was curious just how young the roster actually is, and to my surprise a total of 7 Nuggets are just 21 years of age or younger. That means most of the young group that beat the mighty Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers last season never even saw the 80’s. How’s that for making you feel old?
However, the Nuggets aren’t completely unbalanced in the age department. There are 8 Nuggets who are 25 and older with the oldest Nugget carrying 15 years on the newbies.
Below is a list of all the current Denver Nuggets in order of oldest to youngest, along with a few fun facts because, well, it’s the off season.
To start us off, we have the 30+ age group. It’s crazy to think that these players are considered “older”, but in terms of basketball age the 30+ group has experienced a lot of wear and tear on their bodies over the years. While the seniors have definitely logged some miles, their incredible talent and experience will not only bring value to the Nuggets on the court, but will also offer invaluable mentor-ship for the younger players on the roster.
Paul Millsap is the biggest name on the Nuggets roster seen since Carmelo Anthony, and his commitment to the city of Denver for a few years means a lot to the local fan base. I’m hopeful Millsap will take the Nuggets to the playoffs next year allowing the younger players to experience a playoff atmosphere, even it it’s just to learn some lessons and come back stronger in 2018-2019.
I hope that the Nuggets keep Wilson Chandler at least for one more season because they’re already thin at the small forward position, and poor Juancho Hernangomez can’t handle the three all by himself. Will Barton can play the 3 when needed, but his size poses a major problem against some of the bigger teams in the league.
And, to be very honest, I feel like it’s time for Jameer Nelson to move on. His leadership has carried the Nuggets through a tough time, but maybe he would be better suited for an assistant coaching role instead of taking up space on the roster this season.
Birth date: February 9, 1982 (35 years old)
Birth place: Chester, PA
#1 movie on his birthday: On Golden Pond
#1 song on his birthday: Centerfold by the J. Giles Band
Birth date: February 5, 1985 (32 years old)
Birth place: Monroe, LA
#1 movie on his birthday: Beverly Hills Cop
#1 song on his birthday: I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner
Birth date: May 10, 1987 (30 years old)
Birth place: Benton Harbour, MI
#1 movie on his birthday: The Secret of My Succe$s
#1 song on his birthday: (I Just) Died in Your Arms by Cutting Crew
The next group of players are still very much in their prime, but they also have the experience needed to make good decisions on the court while providing strong leadership for their young teammates. Darrell Arthur and Kenneth Faried have also been playing for the Nuggets for several years so they bring important knowledge of the team’s history.
This group consists of mostly bench players, but their role with the Nuggets will be extremely important next season. The Nuggets’ bench is very crowded at the moment, but staples like Arthur, Faried, Mason Plumlee and Barton bring much needed stability as the forward position looks to be uncertain heading into the 2017-2018 season.
Birth date: March 25, 1988 (29 years old)
Birth place: Dallas, TX
#1 movie on his birthday: Biloxi Blues
#1 song on his birthday: Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
Birth date: November 19, 1989 (27 years old)
Birth place: Newark, NJ
#1 movie on his birthday: Harlem Nights
#1 song on his birthday: When I See You Smile by Bad English
Birth date: March 5, 1990 (27 years old)
Birth place: Fort Wayne, IN
#1 movie on his birthday: The Hunt for Red October
#1 song on his birthday: Escapade by Janet Jackson
Birth date: December 19, 1990 (26 years old)
Birth place: Columbia, SC
#1 movie on his birthday: Home Alone
#1 song on his birthday: Because I Love You (The Postman Song) by Stevie B
Birth date: January 6, 1991 (26 years old)
Birth place: Baltimore, MD
#1 movie on his birthday: Home Alone
#1 song on his birthday: Justify My Love by Madonna
The third group contains some important pieces of the Nuggets’ future as they make their way through the rebuilding process. Nuggets’ star Nikola Jokic is proving to be one of the most special and unique players in the league, and has quickly become the focal point that the team is building around. Jokic’s potential is virtually endless given his incredible versatility, and he is only entering his third season in the NBA.
Gary Harris has brought a steadiness to Denver that I believe is beyond his years. Overall he’s a very consistent player, and I like how he cuts for Jokic. I also believe Harris brings an important defensive presence, and hopefully his younger teammates will follow suit as they grow up with the team.
Juancho Hernangomez is also shaping up to be a very valuable asset for the organization. He’s still getting his bearings in the NBA, and could stand to put on a few pounds of muscle while he works on improving his handling skills, but his ceiling is very high. He showed moments of brilliance last season that we are sure to see more of as his role expands this next year coming off the bench for Chandler.
Birth date: September 14, 1994 (22 years old)
Birth place: Fishers, IN
#1 movie on his birthday: Timecop
#1 song on his birthday: I’ll Make Love to you by Boyz II Men
Birth date: February 19, 1995 (22 years old)
Birth place: Sombor, Serbia
#1 movie on his birthday: The Brady Bunch Movie
#1 song on his birthday: Creep by TLC
Birth date: June 27, 1995 (22 years old)
Birth place: Grand Rapids, MI
#1 movie on his birthday: Apollo 13
#1 song on his birthday: Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman By Bryan Adams
Birth date: September 28, 1995 (21 years old)
Birth place: Madrid, Spain
#1 movie on his birthday: Seven
#1 song on his birthday: Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio Feat. L.V.
Birth date: November 5, 1995 (21 years old)
Birth place: Saskatoon, Canada
#1 movie on his birthday: Get Shorty
#1 song on his birthday: Fantasy by Mariah Carey
Birth year: April 9, 1996 (21 years old)
Birth place: Hudson, NY
#1 movie on his birthday: Primal Fear
#1 song on his birthday: Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion
Birth date: March 5, 1996 (21 years old)
Birth place: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
#1 movie on his birthday: The Birdcage
#1 song on his birthday: One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
Last, but not least, the Nuggets have a couple of players under 21 years of age who may not have a big role with the team now, but they certainly will in years to come. I will be honest and admit that, until the draft, I had no earthly idea who Vlatko Cancar was. I actually still don’t really have an idea who he is, but his career overseas looks to be something the Nuggets can use in the future. He won’t play for the team this coming season, but it’s nice to know there’s a reserve out there getting valuable professional experience until the Nuggets need to call him over.
Malik Beasley looked good in Summer League even leading the league in points in the preliminary qualifying games. He will still need some development this coming season, and maybe even some more time in the G-League working on protecting the ball and improving his shooting accuracy, but overall I love his attitude and work ethic.
And lastly, we can’t forget about Jamal Murray. Murray is one of the players I’m most excited about, and I believe he and Jokic are foundational pieces for the Nuggets in the future. I believe Denver needs to pour their resources into Murray to develop him into their starting point guard. He’s certainly capable of taking that role on and becoming something very special for the team.
Birth date: November 20, 1996 (20 years old)
Birth place: Atlanta, GA
#1 movie on his birthday: Star Trek: First Contact
#1 song on his birthday: No Diggity by Blacksreet Feat. Dr. Dre, Queen Pen
Birth date: February 23, 1997 (20 years old)
Birth place: Kitchener, Canada
#1 movie on his birthday: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
#1 song on his birthday: Wannabe by Spice Girls
Birth date: April 20, 1997 (20 years old)
Birth place: Koper, Slovenia
#1 movie on his birthday: Anaconda
#1 song on his birthday: Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down by Puff Daddy Feat. Mase