The Denver Nuggets have indeed used the 58th pick to select their third and final player of the 2018 NBA Draft: Thomas Welsh, the seven footer out of UCLA. Exactly one week ago the Nuggets invited six players to workout ahead of the draft and Welsh, a floor spacing center, was among them.
Welsh is a rare, four year senior. At 22-years old, the Los Angeles native will enter the NBA as an elder to a sizable group of players with their rookie seasons already under their belt. Over the course of his four year career, Welsh averaged 9.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game with the Bruins.
The Nuggets selected two tall and long forwards with their first two picks and opted for real size with their final selection. Welsh projects as a potential floor spacer, although he didn’t begin shooting threes—literally—until his senior season, when he shot a surprising 40 percent from deep on 3.4 attempts per game.
With two centers and a small army of forwards on the roster, it is unlikely that Welsh gets real burn anytime soon. In the modern NBA, a center must posses the ability to spread the floor, or else transcend that requirement with tremendous value on the defensive end. Welsh projects to check that first box and has earned himself a selection when some thought Denver would simply sell their final pick.