I have a feeling that Nuggets fans will remember the 2017 draft for a long, long time. The history doesn’t need to be shared again, we can leave it at that.

The Nuggets are one of the top teams in the Western Conference, and 538 projects that they will finish the season with the sixth-best record in the conference, which would result in them having the 22nd pick in the draft.

They don’t have an additional first round pick coming to them this year, and they don’t have to send one out. They do have to send their second round pick to the Lakers, but they will receive the less favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Portland Trail Blazers second round pick.

Not to be overly dramatic, but this is a huge first year in the draft for the Nuggets. Many of their young core players are going to begin getting paid for on their second contract soon. Gary Harris signed a big contract. Jokic will be signing a very large contract soon. Trey Lyles might be getting a large contract from the Nuggets. A player on a rookie contract, especially in the late 20s, that can be a contributor and not just the 15th guy on the roster, would be incredibly useful for the team both in terms of wins and in terms of the salary cap.

With that out of the way, here’s the first Denver Stiffs mock draft of 2018.

Pick Team Player (Position, School) Notes
1 Hawks Luka Dončić, SG, Real Madrid
2 Grizzlies Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri
3 Suns DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
4 Magic Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma
5 Kings Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
6 Mavericks Mo Bamba, C, Texas
7 Bulls Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan State
8 Nets Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama to Cavs
9 Lakers Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova To 76ers
10 Hornets Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky
11 Knicks Marvin Bagley, PF, Duke
12 Clippers Trevon Duval, PG, Duke
13 76ers De'Anthony Melton, PG, USC
14 Trail Blazers Wendell Carter, C, Duke
15 Jazz Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke
16 Heat Bruce Brown, SG, Miami to Suns
17 Bucks Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky
18 Pistons Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova
19 Pelicans Brian Bowen II, SF, Louisville
20 Pacers Troy Brown Jr., SF, Oregon
21 Wizards Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV
22 Nuggets Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State
23 Thunder Killian Tillie, PF, Gonzaga to T'wolves
24 Timberwolves Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia to Hawks
25 Spurs Yante Maten, PF, Georgia
26 Celtics Chimezie Metu, C, USC
27 Cavaliers Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky
28 Raptors Lonnie Walker, SG, Florida State to Nets
29 Rockets Daniel Gafford, F, Arkansas to Hawks
30 Warriors Markis McDuffie, SF, Wichita State

Why I like ….

Landry Shamet. Shamet plays for one of the best defensive teams in Division I. The Shockers sophomore point guard is a long, shifty player, who makes the right decision time after time. He’s 6’4”, with long arms and the acumen to be a real nuisance on defense.

He’s a career 45-percent 3-point shooter on 4.6 attempts per game, and he can score efficiently near the rim and in the mid-range. Shamet takes about a quarter of his shots at the rim, and he’s shooting 72-percent there this season. He’s not going to take a bad shot, and has the passing ability and vision to find teammates for a better shot if he’s not comfortable pulling up for a jumper.

With his basketball IQ, Shamet projects to have a high floor. Even if his jumper doesn’t translate into the NBA, he’s going to be smart enough to direct an offense and space the floor well off the ball. He may never be athletically able to be a starter in the NBA, but he can be a serviceable backup for a long time.

Shamet just makes winning plays. You’re going to be able to see him from time to time during the season, and you’ll definitely be able to see him play in March. Keep an eye on him as a player the Nuggets could select with their first pick next year.