How many first round picks will be involved in trades today?
I think that record is challenged today.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2019
Adam Mares: I am going to trust Woj on this one and say that today will be a crazy day with lots of trades, some of which will have major implications on the near future of the league. With the Western Conference being wide open and several teams feeling like they are one piece away, I think we see some surprise trades. The Thunder are already rumored to be shopping Steven Adams, Bradley Beal’s name could come back up in trade rumors. So I’m going with a record-breaking 14 picks to get traded today. Buckle up!
Brendan Vogt: Woj doesn’t strike me as the light the fire, reckless speculation sort, and I’m pretty sure he’s more dialed into the possibilities here than any human being on earth. If he is gearing up for a new record, then so am I.
14 picks will move.
Jeremy Poley: Fear is the greatest enemy of rationality and in a weak draft where teams are holding either high draft picks or a bunch of draft picks, I think we’re going to see more trades than usual. Consider this year’s draft as the preseason of free agency. 14 trades!
Ryan Blackburn: The winds are billowing around this idea that the draft is wide open, and why not? The NBA is wide open right now with the Warriors’ impending injuries and free agency looming, and teams will look to take advantage by either identifying a cheap player in the draft or clearing cap space using draft picks. Atlanta has already sold two picks (a trade partner I had hoped Denver would engage) and they won’t be the last team to maneuver the draft today.
If the Nuggets trade into the middle of the first round of the draft, who do you want them to take?
Mares: Ryan has sold me on Brandon Clarke. I still love Jarred Vanderbilt so I’m a bit weary of picking another young PF but Clarke sounds like he is exactly the type of prospect you take a flyer on in this spot. Late bloomer, lots of hustle, smart instincts.
Poley: I’m going to assume that Brandon Clarke isn’t there. Chuma Okeke is the Jarred Vanderbilt of the SF position. A twitch-defensive monster with high play-making ability and a 7-foot wingspan (6’8” tall). Maybe even a comp to a young Wilson Chandler, but dare I say a little bit better in every way? (draft profiling is about not knowing anything, and saying everything.) A forward rotation of Jarred Vanderbilt, Michael Porter Jr, and Chuma Okeke could be the foundation around Jokic that elevates the Nuggets to a dynastic championship throne.
Blackburn: Brandon Clarke has been the guy for me for awhile. He seems to be an analytics dream, and that’s where I butter my bread. If not him, then Chuma Okeke or Grant Williams make the most sense as smart defenders with translatable skills that could impact the Nuggets as role players in the future. All three defend multiple positions and stand around 6’8, which should already sound appealing for Nuggets fans.
Vogt: Has anyone said Brandon Clarke yet?
This year, are you more excited for the draft, free agency, or summer league?
Mares: Free agency will be crazy this year. Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving. Lots of big boys on the market and where they end up will affect the Nuggets. But I’ve got to go with summer league. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for the actual basketball at summer league like I am for the Nuggets roster this year. Vanderbilt and Michael Porter Jr. are the headliners but I’m even curious to see Vlatko Cancar, Thomas Welsh, and Brandon Goodwin.
Vogt: If you’re a casual hoops fan then you’re licking your chops for this free agency period. But if you’re a Nuggets fan, the right answer here is summer league. We’ve waited so long to watch Michael Porter Jr. play basketball. There are rumors that we’ll see Jarred Vanderbilt running the point. Our hearts yearn for Vlatko Cancar. Tom Welsh will be there. Vegas, baby.
Poley: Summer league! And Nuggets fans are probably the only ones who would pick this over the other two options. If Michael Porter Jr. was in this year’s draft he would be unquestionably the #2 pick and there’s even a possibility he would challenge Zion for #1. So in my eyes, we traded last year’s 14th pick for this year’s 2nd pick. And summer league gives us the first opportunity to see the fruits of our market trading. Craziest thing? I’m even more excited to see Vanderbilt!
Blackburn: It has to be free agency. Shout out to the excellent talent the Nuggets will have playing in Las Vegas in July, but Denver has an opportunity to be a legitimate contender in 2019-20 if they so choose. Standing pat likely doesn’t get it done, but the right move or two in free agency could set the Nuggets up as frontrunners in a wide open West. Many teams have to feel that way too, and we will be seeing a lot of action at the top, trades, and potentially new homes for as many as five top 20 players when free agency hits...on top of watching Anthony Davis pine his way to Los Angeles.