The Denver Nuggets have reportedly signed the 58th pick the of the 2018 NBA Draft, Thomas Welsh, to the first of their available two-way deals, per Sportando. Welsh, the seven foot tall center out of UCLA, is the third leading rebounder in Bruin history. He increased his stock as an NBA prospect by adding a three point shot to his arsenal his senior year, when he shot 40 percent from deep on 3.4 attempts per game.
Thomas Welsh agreed on a two-way contract with the Denver Nuggets, a source told Sportando— Sportando (@Sportando) July 3, 2018
The Nuggets have two true centers on their roster in Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee. Ideally, Jokic stays healthy. But should he sprain an ankle like he did last year, or an injury prevents Plumlee from playing, Welsh could be called up and called upon as soon as this season.
This move has interesting implications for Jarred Vanderbilt and Monte Morris, the two prime candidates to nab the second two-way deal. It seems reasonable to assume that contract will go to Vanderbilt, the talented rebounder and defensive terror who is recovering from a surgery on his foot. If that is indeed the case, then Morris now has path to a full-time spot on the roster. But that path isn’t guaranteed, and the pressure on him to impress in Vegas has grown.
The Nuggets will need a back up ball handler, and Morris is the best candidate to fill the void internally. Of course, there are rumors that the Nuggets are looking to plug this hole externally—it is possible that Morris spends another season in the G League.
Will get a look at both Welsh, Morris and how they play together in the coming days as the two are likely to catch major minutes at Summer League.