NBA draft night is almost here, and that means it’s almost decision time for Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly.
The Nuggets currently own the 7th, 15th and 19th picks in the first round of the draft, but that could all change once the league’s front offices start picking up the phones.
“We huddle up collectively as a staff two, three times a day, kind of compare notes, what we have heard around the league,” Connelly said in a sit-down interview with Altitude Sports reporter Vic Lombardi. “We like who we like, and now we are trying to figure out who we like more.”
The Nuggets are eager to win now. Connelly, though, explained that the team will be smart in their approach to selecting the right guys in the draft.
“By this point, I think we know everything we can know,” he said. “So we can make an informed decision and we aren’t scared of it.”
Outside of the top-two picks, there aren’t any locks, meaning the Nuggets could end up having one of the top players on their draft board slide down to seven. The spectrum of options is so wide open that the Nuggs could end up with a guy like Chris Dunn or someone like Jaylen Brown; it just depends on how the stars align.
And because of their depth, Connelly feels like they’re in a unique position to succeed.
“What allows us to be a bit more creative than a lot of teams in the lottery is that we don’t have a glaring need positionaly,” said Connelly. “If you look at our roster, as is, we are two deep at every position — maybe three deep at the bigs. If we think we can get a dynamic player, regardless of position, a guy that we can build with long term, I don’t think we will be tied to anything.”
In terms of which players the Nuggets are specifically targeting, Connelly would not say, but he did say some guys would make them happier than others.
“There’s one or two guys that would probably get us more excited than the other,” said Connelly. “There’s one, maybe two guys … We would be very lucky to walk away with him with the 7th pick.”
In terms of if the Nuggets will move up in the draft, Connelly said the team will only do so if the right player is there for the taking. He also acknowledged that the team is happy with the seventh pick.
The draft is just hours away and the future of the Nuggets franchise is on the line.