The NBA Draft is just a few days away, and as it stands the Denver Nuggets own the 7th, 15th and 19th overall picks in the first round of the draft.
The first two picks in the draft are locks, but after that, it’s anyone’s game.
Personally, I have seen so many different mock drafts that it’s nearly impossible to tell which players will end up where. I’ve seen mock drafts where the Nuggets are able to snag Jamal Murray or Dragan Bender, and I’ve seen others where they end up with Buddy Hield or Jaylen Brown.
The fact of the matter is, there’s no telling how picks three through seven will pan out.
With that said, if the big name guys like Bender, Brown, Hield, Dunn and Murray are all off the board at seven, the Nuggets can afford to take a risk and draft the kid with the highest upside.
Let’s face it, the general consensus is that this draft is filled with a lot of average NBA players outside of the first two picks, meaning the Nuggets can, and should, take the player with the highest upside.
With the 15th and 19th picks, in addition to the two second-round picks they own, the Nuggets have a security blanket of sorts.
A guy like Marquese Chriss could be a nice fit for a Nuggets team that needs some flare and excitement on their roster. For Chriss, the ceiling is as high as just about any player in this draft, yet he is an extremely raw player that needs a ton of work before he’s even ready to contribute at an NBA level.
There are a lot of players like this in the draft: Timothe Lawuawu, Furkan Korkmaz and Henry Ellenson, to name a few. They are “project” players, guys that often don’t play like elite talents but have shown the abilities to get there one day.
This is where having the two additional first rounders comes into play.
If you were to draft a project like Chriss, Luwuawu, Korkmaz or Ellenson, the team has the ability to use their remaining two picks on players who have limited ceilings but an established game, balancing out the risk of using your lottery pick on a potential boom-or-bust player.
More importantly, as every Nugget fan will tell you, the team needs a star, and they’re not going to find one unless they take a few risks.
The Nuggets are on the cusp of winning, and they don’t want to be picking in the lottery any more. This may be their best opportunity to grab a major talent, and they need to take it.