The SB Nation mock draft comes out today and I was tasked with making the Denver Nuggets two first round selections. Denver currently holds the 21st and 30th overall pick in the draft following a trade that sent JaMychal Green to the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier last week. The Nuggets could go a lot of ways with their first round picks as all options are on the table, but for this mock draft there were no trades so the Nuggets drafted in both slots.
It certainly is an option that Denver uses both picks on Thursday night, but it’s also possible they move the pick and either move up in the draft or acquire an established player from around the league. No matter what the Nuggets choose to do they have to operate with the ultimate goal in mind to maximize their talent now and push for a championship next season.
I tried to add two players I think could do just that, so here are my selections for the Denver Nuggets in the SB Nation mock draft!
21st overall: Ochai Agbaji, Wing, Kansas
The Nuggets are likely to target players who can contribute on the defensive end of the floor as early as next season, but there is no better value than getting Agbaji at 21. If this happens on draft night, the Nuggets should be running to the podium as Agbaji possesses the skill set to contribute next season and beyond. Agbaji would give the Nuggets another high level shooter they could slot into the starting lineup or bring off the bench. He’s not just a scorer though as Agbaji showcased traits to be a high level defender during his time at Kansas.
I was tempted to go with Marjon Beauchamp here from the G-League Ignite, who the Nuggets worked out just yesterday at Ball Arena. Beauchamp is another player who possesses that defensive upside the Nuggets are looking for. Not only could Beauchamp be an elite defender at the next level, but he could also develop into a really solid offensive player.
It’s tough to pass on Agbaji though and if he makes to to 21 I feel like he would definitely be in consideration for the Nuggets first pick on Thursday night. If Agbaji is off the board though then I would watch out for Beauchamp.
30th overall: Wendell Moore Jr., Wing, Duke
Even though the Nuggets made a trade and acquired this pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder, I’d be a little surprised if Denver made two first round selections come Thursday night. I expect the Nuggets to try and move one or even both of their first round picks with the hopes of moving up in the draft or acquiring a player who can contribute next season.
If the Nuggets do stick and pick here, Wendell Moore Jr. is a great option and is someone the Nuggets have shown interest in. Moore worked out for the Nuggets two weeks ago and would give them a player who is phenomenal at on-ball defense, passing, and even has some upside as a scorer at the next level.