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2021 NBA Draft: Stiffs Big Board 1.0

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With the NBA Draft just 4 weeks away, we have our initial player rankings for the class of 2021.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Baylor vs Gonzaga Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 29th and the Denver Nuggets currently own the 26th overall pick. The team’s needs may become much more clear after July 26th, as both JaMychal Green and Will Barton will have passed their deadline dates to decide wether they are opting-in to their current contract’s with the Nuggets, or testing free agency. At the same time, their decisions may not even matter in regards to the Draft. Tim Connelly could very well select whomever the front office deems the best player available, regardless of position.

The 2021 NBA Draft Class has been praised by many for not only it’s potential generational talents at the top, but the depth of quality players throughout its entirety. Every year we can count on a handful of late selections that make us wonder how so many teams passed up such obvious talent. Here’s hoping the Nuggets can find at least one of these aforementioned diamonds in the rough.


Denver Stiffs 2021 Big Board 3.0

Current Rank Previous Rank Diff. Player Draft Age School/Team Position Ht. Wt.
Current Rank Previous Rank Diff. Player Draft Age School/Team Position Ht. Wt.
1 1 Cade Cunningham 19.8 Oklahoma State Guard/Forward 6'8" 220
2 2 Evan Mobley 20.1 USC Big 7'0" 215
3 3 Jalen Suggs 20.2 Gonzaga Combo Guard 6'4" 205
4 4 Jalen Green 19.5 G League Ignite Wing 6'5" 178
5 6 1 Scottie Barnes 20 Florida State Forward 6'8" 227
6 5 -1 Jonathan Kuminga 18.8 G League Ignite Forward 6'7" 223
7 7 Davion Mitchell 22.9 Baylor Combo Guard 6'2" 205
8 8 Josh Giddey 19 Adelaide 36ers Guard/Forward 6'8" 216
9 9 Franz Wagner 19.9 Michigan Forward 6'9" 220
10 10 Moses Moody 19.2 Arkansas Wing 6'6" 205
11 11 Alperen Şengün 19 Beşiktaş J.K. Big 6'10" 243
12 12 Corey Kispert 22.4 Gonzaga Wing 6'7" 220
13 14 1 James Bouknight 20.9 UConn Wing 6'5" 190
14 13 -1 Keon Johnson 19.4 Tennessee Wing 6'5" 186
15 15 Jalen Johnson 19.6 Duke Forward 6'9" 215
16 16 Chris Duarte 24.1 Oregon Wing 6'6" 190
17 21 4 Jared Butler 21.9 Baylor Combo Guard 6'3" 190
18 17 -1 Usman Garuba 19.4 Real Madrid Forward 6'8" 229
19 19 Kai Jones 20.5 Texas Big/Forward 6'11" 218
20 18 -2 Jaden Springer 18.8 Tennessee Combo Guard 6'4" 204
21 24 3 Trey Murphy III 21.1 Virginia Wing 6'9" 199
22 22 Miles McBride 20.9 West Virginia Combo Guard 6'2" 200
23 20 -3 Isaiah Jackson 19.5 Kentucky Big 6'11" 206
24 23 -1 Ayo Dosunmu 21.5 Illinois Combo Guard 6'5" 200
25 25 Sharife Cooper 20.1 Auburn Lead Guard 6'1" 180
26 26 Tre Mann 20.5 Florida Combo Guard 6'5" 190
27 27 Ziaire Williams 19.9 Stanford Wing 6'9" 188
28 28 Quentin Grimes 21.2 Houston Guard/Wing 6'5" 205
29 31 2 Josh Christopher 19.6 Arizona State Wing 6'5" 215
30 29 -1 Cam Thomas 19.8 LSU Wing 6'4" 210
31 32 1 Joel Ayayi 21.4 Gonzaga Guard/Wing 6'5" 180
32 30 -2 JT Thor 18.9 Auburn Forward 6'10" 205
33 33 Josh Primo 18.6 Alabama Combo Guard 6'5" 189
34 41 7 Bones Hyland 20.9 VCU Combo Guard 6'3" 169
35 37 2 Kessler Edwards 22 Pepperdine Forward 6'8" 200
36 36 Day'Ron Sharpe 19.7 UNC Big 6'11" 265
37 39 2 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl 20.7 Villanova Forward 6'9" 231
38 43 5 Herb Jones 22.8 Alabama Wing/Forward 6'8" 210
39 42 3 Aaron Henry 21.9 Michigan State Wing 6'6" 210
40 40 Neemias Queta 22 Utah State Big 7'0.5" 248
41 38 -3 Filip Petrušev 21.3 KK Mega Soccerbet Big 6'11" 225
42 35 -7 Charles Bassey 20.8 Western Kentucky Big 6'10" 239
43 48 5 B.J. Boston 19.7 Kentucky Wing 6'7" 185
44 50 6 Isaiah Todd 19.8 G League Ignite Forward 6'10" 199
45 52 7 Rokas Jokubaitis 20.7 BC Žalgiris Lead Guard 6'4" 194
46 45 -1 Jason Preston 22 Ohio Combo Guard 6'4" 181
47 46 -1 Joe Wieskamp 21.9 Iowa Wing 6'7" 205
48 51 3 David Johnson 20.4 Louisville Combo Guard 6'5" 210
49 47 -2 Greg Brown III 19.9 Texas Forward 6'9" 205
50 49 -1 Isaiah Livers 23.4 Michigan Forward 6'7" 230
51 44 -7 Daishen Nix 19.5 G League Ignite Lead Guard 6'5" 227
52 56 4 Juhann Bégarin 19 Paris Basketball Wing 6'5" 192
53 N/A Vrenz Bleijenbergh 20.8 Port of Antwerp Giants Wing/Forward 6'10" 200
54 54 McKinley Wright IV 22.8 Colorado Lead Guard 6'0" 192
55 55 Sam Hauser 23.6 Virginia Forward 6'8" 217
56 N/A Jericho Sims 18.7 Texas Big 6'9" 210
57 57 Matthew Hurt 21.3 Duke Forward 6'9" 235
58 58 Trendon Watford 20.7 LSU Forward 6'9" 237
59 59 David Duke Jr. 21.8 Providence Guard/Wing 6'5.5" 204
60 N/A Aaron Wiggins 22.6 Maryland Wing 6'5" 190

Three players to watch at pick #26

If the Nuggets keep the 26th pick in this years draft they will have plenty of options. In the most ideal situation, seemingly sure-things such as Chris Duarte and Corey Kispert, or young players oozing with potential like Jalen Johnson, Jaden Springer, and Usman Garuba would fall to Denver. However, those prospects appear to be trending more towards being end-of-lottery picks than being available when the Nuggets are currently positioned to make a selection.

There will be many player profiles leading up to the Draft on Denver Stiffs. For now, here are three intriguing players that currently seem fairly likely to be unselected near the end of the first round.

Jared Butler, Combo Guard, Baylor

Butler felt like a lock to be selected before #26 just a few weeks ago, however, a pre-existing heart condition has prevented him from being cleared to participate in any basketball activities by NBA doctors. Butler committed to Alabama in 2018, but transferred to Baylor that same year after not being cleared by Alabama’s medical staff. He went on to play three straight seasons for the Bears that culminated in winning the 2021 NCAA National Championship, along with the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award.

First and foremost, we wish Jared good health and hope he can continue doing what he loves by playing in the Association. Secondly, these unfortunate circumstance have caused Jared to begin sliding down many draft boards. This may put the Nuggets in prime position to potentially steal a well-rounded guard with lottery talent. If his heart condition is corrected or deemed safe to play through, Jared posses a combination of shooting, playmaking, and defensive chops that is much harder to find at the back end of the first round.

Ayo Dosunmu, Combo Guard, Illinois

Speaking of defensive chops, Ayo is excellent at navigating screens to stay in front of ball handlers, as well as stick with shooters off-ball. He measured in at 6’5” with shoes with a 6’10.25” wingspan at the combine. Dosunmu utilizes this length to rebound at a good rate for a guard, challenge shots, and generally disrupt offenses. If he can get a little bit stronger, he has the length to expand his defensive versatility and effectively switch onto small forwards in the NBA.

Ayo steadily improved throughout his three years at Illinois and, as a result, should be more NBA ready than a lot of the teenagers that will be drafted ahead of him. Dosunmu will likely be a secondary playmaker in the NBA, rather than a more traditional point. His spot-up jumper leaves a bit to be desired, but he can create space off the bounce and score at a decent-to-good clip from all three levels. The flashes of fearlessness he’s shown in clutch situations make me a believer in Ayo as a prospect with starting potential.

Trey Murphy III, Wing, Virginia

You could make a case for Trey Murphy III as the best spot-up three point shooter in this class. Not only did he connect on 43.3% of his three point attempts in his first season at Virginia, he also shot 50.3% from the field and 92.7% from the free throw line, albeit on only 1.6 free throw attempts per game. Regardless, he plays within the flow of the offense- keeping the ball moving and taking open shots when the opportunity arises. Murphy is also an above-the-rim athlete that measured in at 6’9.25” in shoes with a 7’0” wingspan at the combine. He is quietly a very solid defender that has size to defend forwards and athleticism to stay with wings.

After spending his first two years at Rice, Trey transferred to Virginia where he thrived in a lower usage role for the Cavaliers. If Trey is drafted by a playoff team such as Denver, he can continue to fill a similar role as the one he shifted to in his Junior season. This is the best way to set him up for immediate success and Trey seemed more than comfortable filling that niche last season. A perceived ceiling of a role player is likely the main reason he would still be able available at 26th overall.