The Denver Nuggets currently hold the lucky number of 13 as their spot to pick in the upcoming draft. As you may have heard, this is supposed to be one of the most loaded draft classes in recent years. But what does that mean for a team picking 13th? Nothing but uncertainty as it does any year.
Similar to every draft, we will be able to look back a few years down the line and pick out diamonds in the rough that we can’t believe didn’t go higher. No matter how loaded the top tier of players are, everything outside of that tier is a wildcard, and that’s where the Nuggets find themselves: Digging for gold nuggets that hopefully won’t turn out to be fool’s gold (pun intended).
Unless of course they decide to trade up for a more sure fire player. While not as desperate for a talented young player as some teams are, being one piece away from contending means nothing if you can never find that one piece.
The starting position that has the most room for improvement on their team is the point guard position, which luckily for them is loaded this year. Unluckily for them, there are too many teams who either need a point guard or will have one available that will be too talented to pass up.
Taking a look at the mock draft below, the top 7 players seem to be almost a lock to be drafted before Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntilikina based on each teams’ needs.
|7||Jonathan Issac||Timberwolves||Florida State||PF||Fr.|
|8||Dennis Smith Jr.||Knicks||NC State||PG||Fr.|
If the Nuggets are serious about drafting a point guard, specifically Smith or Ntilikina, then the key will be trading into the six through eight range. Any pick higher would require giving up too many assets.
In order to convince a team to give up their pick the Nuggets will have to offer a player that fills the position that the team was looking to fill through the draft.
For the Magic and the Timberwolves a stretch four could be enticing enough to give up a pick. Although a tough player to give up and also more of a small forward, Wilson Chandler would be a player that fits this description enough for a trade to happen. Each of these teams also could use a veteran on the roster.
If the Nuggets were to trade up into the eighth spot where the Knicks currently sit, it would probably take a combination of a wing and point guard to lure that pick away from them. In this case Will Barton and Emmanuel Mudiay would most likely be the offers on the table.
In any scenario of trading up they would have to part ways with some important players who are key in providing depth to the team. The only way it seems possible to upgrade the point guard position without losing any depth would be to land a free agent. Free agent possibilities will be the topic of the next article to come so stay tuned for it.