As the NBA Draft nears on Thursday, it’s time go from the internet and evaluate which mock drafts have the Denver Nuggets selecting which players in the upcoming event.

It appears that most draft experts have the Nuggets selecting a combo guard as the draft nears, filling a potential hole in the roster with Jamal Murray injured and both Will Barton and Austin Rivers potentially departing in free agency. Let’s take a closer look at the types of guards the experts are selecting on Denver’s behalf.

SB Nation – Ryan Blackburn, July 22

26. Denver Nuggets – Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon

The Nuggets break from their mold of selecting younger players in the draft by instead selecting Duarte, a 24-year-old shooting guard who fits their roster well. The Nuggets have multiple point guards they trust, but in the event that Will Barton doesn’t return, the wing position is decidedly thin. Duarte provides an element of 3-and-D potential to a roster that desperately needs it, and adding him to a roster that already features Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. means he can focus on what he’s best at: shooting and defense.

I actually made the selection and wrote the above blurb in the SB Nation community mock draft. With various younger combo guards off the board and Duarte falling due to age concerns, 26th overall felt like a small price to pay to add a legitimate contributor to the roster. Just like with Desmond Bane of the Memphis Grizzlies last year, there will be some adjustment period; however, it appears that Bane will be a big part of things for Memphis going forward, and Duarte compares favorably at this stage.

Check out the full SB Nation mock draft here.

ESPN – Jonathan Givony, July 25

26. Denver Nuggets – Joshua Primo, G, Alabama

Adding depth on the wing will likely be a priority for the Nuggets, who are slated to be without Jamal Murray for all or most of next season and will see several rotation players enter free agency. Primo, the youngest player in the draft, might be a distance from becoming a consistent contributor, but he’s helped himself with a strong pre-draft process. Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has never been afraid to take a high-upside prospect and be patient with his development, and Primo has everything NBA teams look for at his position long term.

It’s become common practice for the Nuggets to select a younger player and develop them in the NBA while mostly sitting out for the first season, and the results have been mostly good so far. It’s difficult to know whether Tim Connelly should receive the credit for adding a good player or if the coaching and player development staff should be receiving credit for developing said player. It’s probably a moot point, but it would have to apply to Primo, who isn’t ready to contribute now and would need significant time and development to learn his place in the NBA.

Check out the full ESPN mock draft here.

The Athletic – Sam Vecenie, July 21

26. Denver Nuggets – Joshua Primo, G, Alabama

The player: Primo, a 6-foot-6 guard who also is the youngest player in the 2021 draft class, has been one of the big winners of the pre-draft process. He had a solid year for Alabama as a freshman, largely playing as more of a spot-up shooter in their offense. But he has long had the reputation for the ability to do more and showcased that throughout his workouts, as he can handle the ball with tremendous body control and finish at the rim as a secondary ballhandler.

The fit: One thing the Nuggets are known for is pre-drafting players they think might be a year away from going much higher in the draft the next season. Primo is a prime pre-draft candidate, and there is even a thought that he could be off the board a bit earlier than this. Still, Denver would be a really strong fit for Primo given how great the organization is developmentally, and given that it has time to spend on him with how deep the Nuggets’ guard rotation is in front of him once his fellow Torontonian Jamal Murray gets healthy.

In selecting Primo, the Nuggets would have to be confident that Primo has more ability to show teams than what his role was at Alabama. Surrounded by older players, Primo was thrust into a spot-up shooting role and was solid offensively, but he isn’t a great enough shooter in the NBA to do that full-time and still expect to be a star. Primo worked out for the Nuggets earlier in the draft process, so they likely have a feel of just how much he can do going forward.

Check out the full The Athletic mock draft here.

Bleacher Report – Jonathan Wasserman, July 21

26. Denver Nuggets – Tre Mann, G, Florida

Wasserman doesn’t elaborate on his selection of Tre Mann for the Nuggets, though players like Deuce McBride, Josh Primo, and Ayo Dosunmu were still on the board when Denver selected Mann at 26. The guard from Florida put up strong per game numbers at Florida, including shooting 40.2% from three-point range and 83.1% from the free throw line. Our own Brandon Ewing profiled Mann for Denver Stiffs two weeks ago, and he noted that Mann’s scoring could offer immediate impact for the Nuggets. I’m a bit more skeptical and see some holes in his game, but Mann could absolutely find a home in Denver as a bench scorer initially.

Check out the full Bleacher Report mock draft here.

The Ringer – Kevin O’Connor, June 25

26. Denver Nuggets – Tre Mann, G, Florida

The Nuggets will need to find someone to handle the ball with Jamal Murray out to start the season as he rehabs his torn ACL. And with Will Barton possibly departing as a free agent, the need could be even greater. Mann could benefit from the opportunity to play in this system alongside Nikola Jokic, because of his ability to contribute with or without the ball.

KOC notes that Mann would fill in nicely for the Nuggets while Jamal Murray continues to recover from ACL surgery back in April. It would surprise me if the Nuggets were in a position to play anyone selected at 26th overall immediately, but a rookie with a nice penchant for scoring would be helpful. If Barton departs, the Nuggets will be left scrambling. I have doubts that Mann is the player to do that, but it would certainly be helpful if he was.

Check out the full Ringer mock draft here.

Yahoo – Krysten Peak, June 23

26. Denver Nuggets – Tre Mann, G, Florida

Another mock draft where the Nuggets are selecting Mann. It’s unsurprising given the players that are leaving and the remaining players left available. The Nuggets just have to hope that Mann is the right combo guard for them. He has deft shooting touch from the outside and a nice floater game inside the arc. Can he be a strong enough playmaker for others to warrant this selection? Time will tell.

Check out the full Yahoo Sports draft here.

CBS Sports – Gary Parrish, July 23

26. Denver Nuggets – Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee

Jaden Springer made above 43% of his 3-point attempts in his one season of college, which is an encouraging stat even if it was on limited attempts. Among the youngest players in this draft, he could develop into an important piece that upgrades Denver’s backcourt.

Parrish hasn’t altered his selection for the Nuggets and feels, like I do, that Springer is a great fit in Denver.

Springer is one of the youngest players in the draft but also has some of the best shooting indicators for long term success. He shot 43.5% from three-point range at Tennessee (albeit on just 46 attempts) and he also shot 81% from the free throw line to back those shooting numbers up. Measuring at roughly 6’4 with a 6’8 wingspan at the NBA Draft combine, Springer shows an ability to drive into the lane, absorb contact, and make great decisions while in the teeth of the defense. Doing so at such a young age is encouraging.

The Nuggets could add Springer in the way they added RJ Hampton last year and expect him not to play. He projects to be a player they could utilize though, and his basketball IQ appears wise beyond his years. He would be a great fit next to Murray in the Nuggets offense led by Nikola Jokić, and he’d be my choice among all players if he were on the board at 26th overall.

Check out the full CBS Sports mock draft here.