By Ryan Blackburn
The NBA Draft is nine days away, and it’s time to start getting really excited about its possibilities. The Denver Nuggets own the 14th, 43rd, and 58th picks in this year’s draft, and given a variety of factors, it’s unlikely they keep all of those picks.
At this current moment, 13 Nuggets are under contract for next year:
On one hand, Denver has some holes in the backcourt and on the wing. Behind Jamal Murray at point guard, there’s uncertainty. Behind Gary Harris, Malik Beasley is still under contract, but Will Barton was integral for Denver and would be a major loss at shooting guard and small forward. Wilson Chandler has a player option, Torrey Craig is a restricted free agent, Juancho Hernangomez barely played last year and may be more of a power forward anyway, and Richard Jefferson was never brought in to play extensive minutes.
At all three positions, especially small forward, Denver could use some help in the draft. There are some quality big wing prospects in this draft, but it’s unlikely that any of them fall to Denver at 14 overall, meaning they’d have to trade up. There’s also the school of thought that they could draft a power forward if that player projects to be a quality starter and can help Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets play better defensively, but that’s a tertiary need if there ever was...