Denver Nuggets select Peyton Watson with 30th overall pick in 2022 NBA Draft

Jun 23, 2022; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Peyton Watson (UCLA) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number thirty overall pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After promises of being aggressive this offseason, the Denver Nuggets ultimately decided to stick at 30th overall, selecting Peyton Watson of UCLA.

Watson, a 6’8″ forward with a 7’1″ wingspan, is a 19-year-old from UCLA. He averaged 3.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game.

The Nuggets are clearly going upside with this draft pick. Watson was the eighth ranked player out of high school last year before going to UCLA. He didn’t play as often as he hoped for a college team that hoped to make a big tournament run, and in the minutes that he did play, he wasn’t that successful. He does have great physical tools though, standing at 6’8″ with a 7’1″ wingspan.

Watson is incredibly raw though. He’s relatively inexperienced, and his skill set isn’t as refined as the Nuggets probably need for an immediate championship run. While Christian Braun was selected at 21st overall and projects to be an immediate contributor, Watson will need at least one to two years before he’s ready to go.

Watson does improve Denver’s length and physicality on the perimeter though. He’s a good passer at his size and has some good clips on tape. His shooting is not where it needs to be though, and if he never becomes a capable shooter, it’s difficult see him carving out an NBA role.

This is an upside play for Calvin Booth and the Denver Nuggets. They have faith in their player development team to help Watson become the best player he can be.

Whether the Nuggets have the time to find out if he has something to contribute remains to be seen.

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