The NBA draft is just over a month away — June 23rd — and the Denver Nuggets currently hold the 21st pick in the first round. Over the course of the next month here at Denver Stiffs we will be highlighting a prospect who we consider to be a player the Nuggets A.) are interested in or B.) are projected to get drafted around the 15-40 range on draft night.
We start our draft series off with a local prospect who some of you might be familiar with, David Roddy. Following a fantastic junior season that saw him win Western Conference Player of the Year, Roddy is testing the draft waters, but is still leaving the option open to return to school next season.
Roddy has until June 1st to make a decision on whether to stay in the draft or not, but before then he will be competing at the NBA combine this week in Chicago. The combine will be great experience for Roddy as he will be able to see where he’s at alongside other NBA draft prospects and will have the ability to meet and chat with teams.
Nuggets fans may remember that Bones Hyland had a really solid combine last season and Denver drafted him with the 26th overall pick. The Nuggets pick is obviously a little higher this season and a big combine from Roddy could see him shoot up draft boards.
It feels like Roddy’s range right now is early to mid second round, but his stock is certainly rising following the season he put together with the Rams. Roddy averaged 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Roddy did all that while shooting 57.1 percent from the field and a scorching 45.5 percent from beyond the three-point line.
Roddy is a do it all player who plays with heart and hustle on both ends of the floor. If the Nuggets are looking for another playmaker who is not afraid to give it his all on both ends of the court then Roddy is definitely someone I could see them consider come draft night.
David Roddy, forward, Colorado State
Age: 21 (03/27/2001)
Roddy’s per game stats for his junior season (2021-22)
We already mentioned a couple of Roddy’s big stats as his 19.4 points per game were fourth in the Mountain West last season. When you pair that with his 7.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game it truly speaks to how dynamic of a player Roddy is on the offensive end of the floor.
Roddy started in all 31 games he played and averaged 32.9 minutes per game, which was a career-high for him. His 57.4 percent field goal percentage lead the Mountain West Conference and his 45.5 percent three-point percentage was second in the conference.
It wasn’t just offensively where Roddy made his mark as he chipped in 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Roddy uses his big body on both ends of the floor to make an impact and his playmaking ability is something the Nuggets definitely might covet.
Playmaking, footwork, and passing ability
It’s a word I’ve already mentioned multiple times when discussing Roddy, but his ability to play make and get his teammates involved is something special for a player his size. Roddy’s football background is where his playmaking comes from as he was an All-State quarterback at Breck High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Coming out of high school, Roddy had offers to play football at division one schools such as Wyoming, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, and South Dakota. Roddy obviously chose basketball and Colorado State University over schools like Northwestern and Minnesota, which is a decision that has definitely worked in his favor.
David Roddy says playing football and track and field along with basketball growing up made him a "better" basketball player. "I advocate every high school athlete to at least try two or three sports."@droddy22 @farokhmanesh5 @PulleyHoops pic.twitter.com/ScCB0F3Uea— Zach “ ” Schumaker (@_SchuZ_) March 19, 2022
Roddy’s football background is on full display anytime he has the basketball in his hand as he whips passes similar to what Nuggets fans have grown accustomed to seeing from Nikola Jokic. I went to a number of Rams games this past season and Roddy’s ability to create for his teammates is by far the biggest thing that pops out with his game.
Even though he averaged just 2.9 assists per game, those numbers feel a little skewed just because of missed shots or because Isaiah Stevens was asked to do a lot of facilitating for the Rams. Roddy is at his best when he is running the floor or anytime the Rams got him the ball near the elbow.
Former Breck HS stud and Mountain West Player of Year David Roddy has had workouts with the #Nuggets and #Rockets so far, will participate in the Draft Combine next week. He’s maintaining college eligibility, has until June 1 to make decision. pic.twitter.com/GYenDF6clk— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) May 9, 2022
It’s bad news for the opposing team when Roddy is facing the rim because he can either beat you off the dribble or dish out a pass to one of his teammates. Whether it’s a bounce pass, chest pass, over the head pass, it doesn’t matter... Roddy does all of them well and his football background is a massive reason why.
Roddy’s footwork near the rim is also something that is poetry in motion to watch. Not only can Roddy create for his teammates with the ball in his hands, but he does a tremendous job of creating for himself with footwork that is quick as a hiccup.
Nuggets fans have already seen what good footwork can do with a player like Jokic and Roddy is similar in that regard. Roddy also has really solid touch near the rim, which is a nice compliment to his footwork because they work hand in hand with one another.
Frame and Effort
At 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, Roddy is not only one of the most dynamic players in this draft class, but he’s also built like a center in a playmaking forwards body. Roddy uses his big frame when he is driving to the rim to draw fouls as he attempted 4.9 free-throws per game last season and shot 69.1 percent from the line.
The David Roddy experience. pic.twitter.com/zYPbCaA6uz— SLAM University (@slam_university) March 17, 2022
Where Roddy really uses his frame to his advantage is on the boards as he averaged 9.4 rebounds last season and 7.5 per game this year. Roddy is not afraid to mix it up down low and use his body to do what’s best for the team. It was rare to see Roddy get beat on the glass this season as he not only uses his frame to gain position, but he attacks the ball like a wide receiver does at the catch point.
This also feels like a part of his game that will translate to the next level because even in the NBA it will be rare Roddy gets matched up against someone bigger than him. The competitive nature in which Roddy plays with is something NBA teams are going to fall in love with and his rebounding ability is where that part of his game really shines.
Three-point shooting and ceiling
These two are paired together because they go hand in hand with one another. If you would have asked me two years ago if three-point shooting was a strength of Roddy the answer would have been no considering he shot just 27.8 percent from beyond the arc. Rewind even further to his freshman season and the answer would have been an even bigger no as he shot just 19.5 percent from three as a freshman.
Here’s a look at David Roddy’s shooting mechanics. His jump from 29% from 3 last season to 47% this year has clearly been a driving force in his increased productivity and NBA intrigue. 6-6, 255 pounds with length and a little more pop than his body type suggests. pic.twitter.com/qsDS1C7eI7— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) February 9, 2022
Fast forward to his junior year and Roddy’s three-point shooting sky rocketed to 45.5 percent, which speaks to his work ethic. Three-point shooting was a big area of improvement for Roddy and that goes hand in hand with his ceiling and ability to grow as a player. Roddy puts in the work during the offseason and that translates to the court, you can’t teach work ethic and that’s something Roddy 100 percent already has.
David Roddy shows what makes him an intriguing NBA prospect ducking behind a handoff for the spot 3 and then pushing off the outlet with a pretty jump pass skip to ignite the break in back to back possessions for Colorado State, who is up 36-29 on Michigan at halftime. pic.twitter.com/AFpH5H5sUF— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) March 17, 2022
Roddy is 21 years old, which in NBA draft terms is a little on the older side. Still, Roddy’s growth as a player is evident in all area of his game as he grew from a contributor to a bonafide star during his time with the Rams.
CSU does not make it to the NCAA Tournament without Roddy on their team as he was the heart and soul of the Rams all season long. Not only is Roddy a great basketball player, but he’s an even better teammate and person.
Reluctant to shoot at times
For as much as Roddy scores and for how efficiently he does so, the fact that he is reluctant to shoot at times is a little confusing. Most of his reluctance to shoot comes from shots from beyond the arc, which could go back to how much be struggled to score from distance during his first two years in college.
Roddy’s 3.4 attempts per game from three last year were a career-high, but there were games and times where that indecisiveness creped in and you could see the hesitation. His reluctance to shoot would often be compounded by turnovers or a much lower percentage shot where the defense was able to get in better position and affect his shot.
The beauty of it is Roddy could easily fix this part of his game with just a little more confidence. Just pulling the trigger and letting it rip more is all Roddy needs to and even though his three-point percentage may go down a little, his scoring should go up if he continues to develop his three-point shot like he did last season.
Not an elite ball handler
For as much as Roddy creates you would like his handle to be a little better than it was last season. Roddy committed 2.3 turnovers per game each of the last two seasons and a lot of those came on drives to the basket where he just couldn’t maintain his dribble.
As big as Roddy is, driving to the basket and using his frame should be priority number one and an improved handle could certainly help elevate that part of his game. When Roddy gets to the rim he often finishes, it’s just the getting there part that has to improve within his game.
Roddy more than likely won’t be asked to handle the ball at the next level, so it’s a part of his game that might flash in the wrong way if and when an opportunity presents itself. Again though, it’s another element of his game that is easily fixable and should be able to get ironed out once NBA coaches have a chance to work with him.
David Roddy is a very good basketball player and any NBA team would be lucky to add this guy to their locker room. For the Nuggets, Roddy could provide another player who could score from the outside, rebound the basketball, and would give them some upside on the defensive end of the floor.
Roddy is a lot like Aaron Gordon in a sense that he’s a big body forward who plays with heart and hustle on both ends of the floor. Would the 21st overall pick in the draft be a little rich for Roddy? Maybe. But there is a real possibility he shoots up draft boards following a solid combine and workouts with teams.
There is also the possibility that Roddy returns to school if he does not receive the feedback he’s looking for from talent evaluators around the league. In that case, he would be able to go back to CSU — or transfer somewhere else — and polish his game with the hope of becoming a dynamite first round pick next season.
It will be interesting to follow Roddy’s journey regardless of what he does whether that’s with the Nuggets or not. As a local prospect who helped lead CSU to one of the best basketball seasons in school history, it makes Roddy a really easy guy to root for no matter where he goes next.