The NBA draft is almost here, as we are only one day away from one of the most anticipated days of the season. The draft is particularly exciting from Nuggets’ point of view, as they have two first-round selections since last week’s deal with Oklahoma City Thunder.
Denver can do a lot of things on Thursday night because they can get stuck in both places and choose, trade up or down, or even confirm a selection and exchange it with one player who is already on the list. If Nuggets sticks and chooses, experts seem to have a variety of options for Nuggets to do. For some jokes, they are forced to take a point defender, while others target a more defensive-minded player, which the Nuggets must add to their list.
Let’s dive into what the experts expect from Nuggets. Each selection includes a selection, and I’ll see if I believe this player is suitable for Denver or not.
Jonathan Givony, ESPN NBA Draft Analyst
Option 21: Dalen Terry, PG / SG, Arizona
Analysis: Terry is a pretty solid target for Nuggets, and the big reason is what he can do on the protective end of the floor. For a team that wants to add a lock guard, Terry can bring it from day one and still get better since he’s only 19 years old.
Not only is he a great defender, but Terry is arguably the best pitcher in this draft class and does a lot of work during the transition. Terry is a really strong cutter and would be great for a Nuggets attack that focuses a lot on moving the basket. Terry is fighting as a scorer, but this is an area of his game that will hopefully improve to the next level. That would be a sure choice if Terry was indeed the choice for a druff night.
Dalen Terry’s profile draft
Option 30: Christian Braun, SG / SF, Kansas
Analysis: That would be another really sure choice for Nuggets and give them something different from Terry’s choice. Like Terry, Braun could be a truly confident defender on the next level and a scorer outside the ball, giving many turns on both sides of the ball. The thing I like about Brown is that he’s a little disgusted with the personality he plays with. You always want to add this dog mentality to your team, and Braun would bring it in from the moment he walks in the door.
Draft profile of Christian Braun
Sam Vecenie The Athleticust
Option 21: Blake Wesley, Guard, Notre Dame
Analysis: Wesley is a fantastic pick-and-play player and does a lot of damage to the floor. Not only can he create for himself and his teammates, but Wesley can also hit the ball quite effectively, scoring an average of 14.4 points per game in his single season at Notre Dame.
Wesley could give the Nuggets the most value in his winger, which was a key part of his game with the Irish all his fresh season. I’m not sure Wesley is the best fit for the Nuggets, and there are other prospects I would suggest for him at the Denver draft table, but he would certainly not be a bad choice at all.
Draft by Blake Wesley
Option 30: Andrew Nembhard, Point Guard, Gonzaga
Analysis: Nembhard is a name with a lot of smoke around it and its connection to the Nuggets. After training in Denver last week, Jake Fischer published an article in the Bleacher Report about Nuggets and Nembhard:
“With Denver in the 30th place, league sources expect the Nuggets to target defender such as Andrew Nembhard, Gonzaga’s ball handler. Denver has involved various teams in trade talks over Monte Morris, a strong reserve defender who played away with Jamal Murray this season.
It wouldn’t shock me if the Nuggets had targeted Nembhard as they moved on from Monte Morris. During his time in Gonzaga, Nembhard was constantly getting better and there is someone who could immediately contribute to Nuggets. Nembhard’s vision of the field, combined with his shooting and defensive skills, would turn Nuggets into a plug and play opportunity.
Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report’s lead scout and NBA draft analyst
Option 21: Marjon Beauchamp, Small Forward, G League Ignite
Analysis: It is becoming one of the most popular choices among Nuggets fans, so it’s nice to see how one expert connects the points between Beauchamp and Denver. Beauchamp favored Nuggets on Monday and seemed to impress Nuggets as a player who could step in right away and hopefully bet next season.
Beauchamp could be the locked defender the Nuggets are looking for from the perimeter, and he also has a slightly upside down attack. Although he sometimes had difficulty hitting the ball last season, it can be said that Beauchamp has worked on this part of the game in preparation for the draft and it seems that it has really improved.
Not only can Beauchamp grow to the next level as a pretty strong shooter, he’s already a fantastic cutter who does a lot of damage near the edge. If it doesn’t sound like a player that would fit perfectly with the Nuggets, then I don’t know who does it.
Draft profile of Marjon Beauchamp
Option 30: Kennedy Chandler, Point Guard, Tennessee
Analysis: This is the first time I see Chandler mocking the Nuggets, and to be honest, it wouldn’t be a terrible value in Option 30. Only 19-year-old Chandler is not one of the youngest prospects in this year’s draft and offers many positive aspects. Chandler is in his best form to lead the show, as he does a great job of getting the ball to his teammates and can also score from anywhere on the court.
The biggest question I have about this choice is that as you move on from Monte Morris, the Nuggets want to add an experienced backup defender. Rather, it refers to an older, more experienced prospect such as Nembhard, as mentioned above. There is no doubt that Chandler would be hugely valuable to Nuggets 30th overall and perhaps too good to give up.
John Hollinger The Athleticust
Option 21: TyTy Washington, Point Guard, Kentucky
Analysis: Washington is a player who is constantly into Nuggets’ game designs and honestly doesn’t understand it. Do I think Washington has the skills to be a confident NBA player? Yes, but I just don’t think it’s suitable for what the Nuggets are looking for right now.
Adding Washington would almost certainly end the Monte Morris era in Denver, and I just don’t think you’ll get better with these two replacements. Sure, Washington is a lot cheaper than Morris, but with just a 6.3-inch 195 point, I’m not sure the Kentucky guard is what the Nuggets need after all the small guards added in recent seasons.
Option 30: Nikola Jovic, Forward, Mega Basket
Analysis: Now it’s a choice I can stick with, and getting Jovic at the end of the first round would be a phenomenal value. Not only would this change the cool story, given that Jovic has an almost identical name to MVP Nikola Jokic, but he also played on the same Mega Basket team where Denver’s superstar played in Serbia.
Jovic could definitely give the Nuggets juice in the attack next season, but his defense is the area of play that needs the most improvement. Jovic may have a hard time getting a seat next year, but with some NBA guidance, he can certainly be a solid contributor to Nuggets.
Draft Nikola Jovic profile
Kevin O’Conner on The Ringer
Option 21: Malaki Branham, Guard, Ohio
Analysis: Branham will make the draft after a really strong first-class season in Ohio and will have many benefits for every team he makes at the age of 19. It looks like Branham is usually lost when the Nuggets are in most drafts and he would make a pretty interesting choice if he dropped to 21.
Not only is Branham able to hit the ball in piles all over the floor, but he’s also a pretty solid defender. Branham would definitely help Nuggets out of the defense and give them another bucket that they could either pair with the original lineup or get off the bench.
Another interesting note about O’Conner’s draft is that he mentioned Nuggets as a team that wants to rise higher in the draft after winning the 30th general selection:
“After JaMychal Green’s 30th choice and Thunder’s future first place finish, the Nuggets will try to complete that choice with a 30th choice to move to the middle of the first round. That’s probably not enough unless Denver is ready to add a young player or future asset.
Option 30: Jake LaRavia, Forward, Wake Forest
Analysis: This is a player I would really like if the Nuggets added to their list. Whether they’re driving LaRavia when they’re 21 or 30 doesn’t really matter, add this guy to your list and good things will happen. The Nuggets hosted LaRavia for training just a few weeks ago, where he showed a shot that is quite special for a player of his size.
LaRavia is a tough player who does all the little things right and makes a fuss to make your team succeed. LaRavia can be a blow in the attack and is also very good when cutting a basket and finishing close to the edge. As for his defense, LaRavia always competes and was a really strong ball defender during his time at Wake Forest. LaRavia would be a fantastic addition to the Nuggets list.
Jake LaRavia intelligence report
Obviously, these are not all expert drafts, but they certainly stand out the most. The biggest theme of all of them is no matter what choice it was – 21 or 30 – they all had the Nuggets choose different perspectives.
The pool of talent the Nuggets have to choose from is quite plentiful and they have a lot of options if they make both choices tomorrow night. No matter what happens, the Nuggets will hopefully find two right players who can come and help the team try to achieve something they have never achieved before – a championship.
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