Nuggets News: Draft grades, analysis and media

The NBA Draft is a lot like a night on the town. It can get wild, crazy, sometimes a bit out of hand, and luckily for you time waits on no man. The very next day, whether you like it or not, you get the privilege of ruminating over what you did the night before. In the Nuggets’ case, a plethora of media outlets have already opined about what transpired on June 26, 2014. Let’s see what they had to say…

Links

USATodaySports.com gives the Nuggets an A for both Nurkic and Harris.

ESPN.com’s stat geek, Kevin Pelton, gives the Nuggets an A-plus for their first-round trade with the Bulls.

Pelton also gives the Nuggets a B-plus for the Afflalo trade.

CBSSports.com gives the Nuggets a C-minus for Nurkic and a B for Harris.

BleacherReport.com gives the Nuggets an A-minus for the Afflalo trade.

BleacherReport.com also gives the Nuggets an A-minus for their first-round picks.

Yahoo!Sports.com gives the Nuggets an A for both Nurkic and Harris.

ESPN.com’s Chad Ford gives the Nuggets a B-plus for their overall draft.

RealGM.com’s Daniel Leroux ranks the Nuggets as one of the six teams in the NBA to have a “Great Draft,” and had Nurkic ranked as his 7th best player overall.

ComcastSportsNetNewEngland.com gives the Nuggets an A for their overall draft.

NBCSports.com’s Kurt Helin says the Nuggets were “my biggest winners on draft day.”

SI.com’s Ben Golliver ranks the Nuggets as one of his seven “winners” on drat night.

DenverPost.com says the Nuggets saved about $2.2 million by selecting Nurkic before Harris.

DenverPost.com’s Mark Kiszla seems surprisingly upbeat about the Nuggets’ last 24 hours.

Videos

Tweets

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Conclusion

I have my own opinion on what the Nuggets did on draft night, and if you’ve been following RMC at all over the past month you likely have a good idea of what that is. But looking strictly at what mass media outlets had to say about the Nuggets picks, I don’t see how you can view this draft as anything but a wild success. Outside of CBSSports.com’s Matt Moore (who really seemed to dislike Nurkic, judging by the video above), I could find no “professional” analyst on the Internet who opposed what the Nuggets did. Adding up the grades linked above, the Nuggets received eight As, three Bs and one C. That’s a 3.6 GPA overall. And that’s not even factoring in the three “winners” declared by RealGM.com, SI.com and NBCSports.com. If you considered those to be As as well, the Nuggets GPA would then improve to a 3.7.

Only time will tell how shrewd Tim Connelly and his staff were in the 2014 NBA Draft; therefore, it’s important we all have patients. If Nurkic doesn’t come to the NBA this year (which would go against what he’s been saying since being drafted) that doesn’t automatically qualify him as a bust. If Harris doesn’t get a lot of playing time next year, that doesn’t mean he won’t be the starting shooting guard for Denver the very next year. Remember, the Nuggets are still an incredibly deep team, perhaps the deepest in the entire NBA. More moves are destined to follow and until all the dust is settled it’s absolutely paramount we try and assess these moves with a level head, respecting the opinions of others and trusting the analysis of those who’ve studied these prospects a hell of a lot more than we have. However… in light of the 24-hour instant-gratification era we currently occupy, if we really want to reach for  some sort of consensus, judging from everything said above by guys who get paid to study these prospects, I’d say the Nuggets made out pretty damn well in the 2014 NBA Draft.

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • LBJ

    CBSSports also gave us a F for Jokic. Their first round grades are pretty accurate too.

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/ Kalen

      What would you have done? Who would you have taken with 16 and 19? Sounds like you’re pretty convinced the Nuggets were a total disaster. Lots of people who did their homework on this draft certainly think otherwise…

      • James Duff

        Was impossible for the nuggets to have done any better yesterday without a huge gamble and somehow pulling a trigger for love (which may not even be possible currently)…getting harris @ 19 when they liked him at 11 plus nurkic is insane

      • LBJ

        I’ll post it again since you apparently missed it. I would have taken Ennis at 16 and Harris at 19 (if Phoenix took Harris, then PJ Hairston).

        Drafting a center who “plays below the rim” and doesn’t have an outside shoot really doesn’t help much. If we wanted a big – we could have grabbed McGary. If we fail to sign Faried, we are left with zero at PF. Drafting a second Euro post got a well-deserved F. Considering we already have Joffery – how many of these guys do we need?

        The trend in the NBA is increasing athleticism. The nuggets are going the opposite direction. This does not bode well.

        • Cullen

          All your analysis of the guy just screams “I watched one YouTube video and only like American players”. Dude runs really well for a seven footer and has a shofter shot than you are giving him credit for. Sure, he’s not going to be jacking up 3s, but that’s not reallly the point. A lot of scouts who do their job really well like the guy and with the right development think he could be great.

          So basically, you’d rather have them draft another wing so we know would have 5-6 on our roster? You’d rather draft PJ “Character Issues” Hairston. Ennis would have been a good pick but unlikely to even be there at 19 and losing Harris would have been net worse. Plus having more big men than necessary is better than wings considering we have a center who just tore up his knees and has struggled to ever play more than 15 minutes a game.

          Also, giving an F to the second round player also seems kinda short sighted. We already have 13 on our roster and stashing at least gives some value.

          I honestly can’t believe your THIS pesimesstic after the day we had yesterday. We got NOTICEABLY better yesterday.

          • LBJ

            Yes, I do prefer American players. We get to see them perform numerous times against guys that they will be playing against in the NBA. We have seen Smart and Ennis perform against quality in big pressure games. Exum – we have no idea.

            I’d rather have a young PG on our roster that we can develop. You are right – we needed to take Ennis at 16. We still would have gotten either Harris, Young or Hairston. Character issues like taking “benefits”? What Euro hasn’t done that?

            Finally, had we wanted a big – why not McGary? OKC had no problem taking him. They seem to know what they are doing in the draft.

            • Cullen

              That’s why we have Euro scouts. I agree, I also have a preference for American players but I also think Euros can be good assets. Look at SA, had multiple flags on the stage from drafting international. I’m not saying our scouts are like the Spurs scouts, but automatically discounting a player due to that is absurd.

              After having done a lot of research on Nurkic it was easy to see you haven’t done much. He shoots great for a big man. Runs the floor and doesn’t look like a statute. Having a big man who can do all the above and plays aggressive D can be a huge asset.

              Young was gone at 17 and another guard at 18. I like Harris and would take him over Ennis all day.

              And McGary has back issues and has missed a lot of games due to injuries. Injuries on big men, specifically back issues, are frieghtenjng. And OKC has hit some home runs but the last couple years they haven’t drafted superbly. McGary also has close to no offensive game. So those are my reservations.

              • LBJ

                I just told you how the nuggets were guaranteed to get a quality wing at 19 (probably Harris) after drafting Ennis at 16. I guess you just refuse to acknowledge that fact.

                The idea he McGary has no offensive game is absurd. Maybe you should spend more time watching NCAA games and less time on international games. I’m pretty confident that McGary is a much better athlete and shooter than Nurkic (the scouting reports I’ve seen/heard say he needs to work on his outside shot and he plays below the rim).

              • Cullen

                No, I hear you. I just really like Harris and don’t think he would have been there, its possible but I liked our pics. I have continuously agreed there were other avenues the Nuggets could have taken, but I like the one we did.

                And no, I definitely watch a lot of NCAA and think McGary has some offense but I bet most of it doesn’t transfer. He rebounds and is a hustle player with back issues. We have one of those already. I bet Nurkic has more offensive potential.

                All in all I love arguing with you. It’s a lot of fun to engage about the Nuggets this much.

              • LBJ

                While Phoenix could have taken Harris, it is very possible they could have taken Napier – as they were clearly looking PG.

              • sharkbait

                I really don’t see how the Nuggets got all that much better. Drafting a foreign guy who most have never seen, plays below the rim and doesn’t shoot well doesn’t really excite me. This is the NBA not Serbia and he’s going to have to play against much more athletic players every night. Is he really any better than Mosgov? I think I would have taken one of the PG’s left instead or maybe James Young on the possible upside. I’m probably in the minority but I was kind of happy with McDermott. He would have instantly been the best shooter on this team and I see him as a smaller, better shooting and HEALTHIER version of Gallo whose not as good defensively. At the very least he would be a good 6th man on a good team. I was OK with trading #11 for #16 & #19 just not excited (or terribly disturbed) with what we got.
                In getting Harris and Afflalo now we have 3 shooting guards who aren’t all-stars and have limited upside. Harris was probably the BPA at #19 but I would have gone in a different direction and taken Kyle Anderson, possibly the best passer in the draft. Notice he went to the Spurs. Full speed ahead for that 8th place trophy!!

              • Cullen

                Just because this forum hates Nurkic doesn’t make him a bad pick. I keep hearing the same quote over and over again. Did anyone do any research beyond that one scourting report? He shoots better than a lot of big man, runs the floor well for a big man and has a ton of potential both offensively and defensively. And 80% of NCAA players never materialize. Every player will have to get better. Not unique to Nurkic.
                He is 19 and has a ton of upside.

                Harris doesn’t have limited upside! He’s plays great defense and can really stroke. Paired with this roster he has a lot of potential. Getting Anderson at 19 would have been a reach. Just because a winning team drafts a player doesn’t mean he’d work for us. They are drafting for specialty, unlike what we need. Harris makes more sense than Anderson for us. We may not have gotten an all star 2, but now we have great depth there, which is a good thing. Afflalo is a top 10 SG and pairs well with Ty.

                McDermott is at best a good scorer. Great, it’s not like we don’t already do that. He is more like Adam Morrison than Gallo. I think he will be a good pro for Chicago, but would have been a bad pick up for us. He is unatheltic wing who cannot play D against the best position in the NBA.

              • sharkbait

                The reason Harris slipped was because of his perceived lack of upside. He was probably the safest of the SG’s but is his ceiling any higher than Afflalo’s? He’s also kind of small for a SG and has short arms. Not a bad pickup, just not that exciting and redundant.
                I think McD is a better athlete than you give him credit for. He tested well and can score in a number of ways and is a much better shooter than anybody we have now. Is he Adam Morrison because he’s American and white? I guess if you’re from Europe and you’re white it’s OK and you have lots of potential. I don’t think he’ll be a star but he could be as good as someone like Chandler Parsons. By the way, who is our good scorer? I think we were dead last in players with 30 pt. games this year. We score a lot of points because of tempo not because anyone is exceptionally skilled.
                There is risk with Anderson but he has upside and could create huge matchup problems. We would finally have a player that might command a double team. I’ll let the fact that the Spurs drafted him speak for itself.

              • Cullen

                My comparison between Morrison and McDermott has more to do with the fact they both fill up the hoop but play no defense and have very limited athleticism. Your analysis of just being white and from Europe is okay completely misses the mark and is incredibly reductionist. And sure, we didn’t have a quality scorer, but we also played no defense. At least Harris plays D. And although Afflalo isn’t as good at D as he was, getting more bodies that are committed to that side of the floor and can score a little is better than a player who can just shoot. And I already said Dougie will be good, just not for us. Chicago will get the best of him and he is at best a 6th man.

                Parsons and him don’t compare at all. Parsons is way more athletic and plays defense and is disruptive.

                Spurs have better shooters that capitalize on that. He might have been an okay pick but I think Harris was better.

              • sharkbait

                That’s funny, besides D. Howard, Asik & P. Beverly I didn’t realize Houston played any defense at all. McD. had a 36″ vertical at the combine so I think he’s a better athlete than you give him credit for. My point is that every white college scorer seems to be compared to Morrison but the European guys never are. McD also has a high basketball IQ, something that is sorely needed on the Nuggets.
                Yes, shooters are important so maybe we draft Anderson and surround him with some so he can get them open shots out of the double team. Just a thought. Too late now. It’s also important to have big people who are smart and able to pass the ball. Kind of like what the Spurs do. I guess we’ll go in a different direction because our way has been so successful.
                I think Harris will be a good player just not a game changer. Just another player like ones we already have. Anderson could be a real difference maker because he’s unique (Or he could be a bust). With the Nuggets situation I would have taken a chance.
                Of course a major trade could change all of that. K. Love.

              • Cullen

                He can jump. Yay. He is a better athlete than I’m giving him credit for, but he’d be a huge defensive liability. And okay, Nurkic is like Morrison. See how silly that sounds? They both guys who can’t defend and can really stroked from downtown but who could be huge busts.

                And just because we aren’t modeling every player after SA doesn’t mean we can’t be successful. But SA has a ton of international players! Guess we can’t have it both ways. Anderson would not change the trajectory or the roster or next season. McD. Wouldn’t either. Harris won’t either. But I’d take the picks we got to either player at the end of the day.

              • sharkbait

                They have basketball players, it doesn’t matter where they come from. McD is a basketball player where Morrison was kind of a flake. I wasn’t comparing McD to Nurkic, they are obviously different but how do you know that Nurkic won’t be the next Cole Aldrich? It just seems there’s all this intrigue over these Euroguys and very few of them actually become anything more than role players and a good percentage never play at all. The Spurs have players from everywhere, what they have in common is the ability to shoot, pass and a high Bball IQ.
                It seems to me if they wanted the most NBA ready player for next year they would have drafted McD. Since they didn’t I would have gone for upside or something unique like Anderson. Harris is supposed to have a high Bball IQ so that is good but I just don’t see anything special there, just a solid player whose kind of small for his position. In the end I don’t see this team being anything more than a 7 or 8 seed at best. Hopefully all of this redundancy will mean a major trade is coming but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
                Considering what was available at #11 I was relatively happy with McD because of his shooting ability and IQ. When they traded with Chicago I was OK with that too. I’m just not all that enthralled with what they picked up. Not disturbed but not enthralled either. I would have been much happier with Anderson & Harris but only time will tell.

          • Nugman

            How do you you know Nurkic isn’t going to be jacking up 3s? The great Shaw was drawing up 3 point plays for Moz, why not Nurkic? Shaw probably plans on developing him into a stretch 4!

        • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/ Kalen

          You raise some valid points LBJ, specifically about athleticism. Thank you for responding in a respectful manner.

          • James Duff

            I’m not sure that questioning his athleticism is fair when he missed the start of the season last year due to the hang up on his rights – even more so when most scouting reports I’ve seen say his movement is excellent for a player his size, Playing catch up, especially when you are one of the youngest and most inexperienced players in your league is very hard, especially from a conditioning standpoint

        • Cullen

          Also kinda funny you’d want Ennis with your comment about athleticism. He is one of the least athletic guys in the draft. He reminds me a lot of Andre Miller. He would have been a good pick, but not possible and Harris>Hairston.

      • Furious_Stylez

        I’m in a wait and see mode with Nurkic. If I were the GM, I would’ve grabbed Harris at 16 and Rodney Hood at 19. Why? We don’t know if Gallo will be the same guy when he returns. A year and a half is a long time to not play ball. Chandler has been included in every trade scenario over the last few years, so I’d imagine if the right trade pops up, he’s a goner not if but when.

        Hood would provide some insurance if one of the 2 scenarios listed above occur. Also Dule players succeed more than most. Coach K instills solid traits into players (like defense and overall smart play). At 19, it wouldn’t have been a reach.

        I believe Harris will be groomed as a PG/SG swing guard. NateRob is not a PG by definition, which means there is a need at PG, so Harris can play sooner if he embraces the role.

        Thoughts?

        • LBJ

          I agree with taking wings and PG – for the very reason you mention. Also, Foye and AAA are getting up there.

          While I totally agree with drafting Harris – my concern is that he is not a PG. I would have gone Ennis, then Harris.

    • James Duff

      Same grader gave gordon to orlando at 4 an A-….sounds accurate.

  • Heisenberg

    Some interesting analysis. I think Denver won both trades (the clearing of cap may also be a win for Orlando). Wish they hadn’t taken Nurkic, but otherwise a decent day for the Nuggets. I don’t think they’re quite done yet, so the next couple weeks should be interesting.

  • Blue

    Great trade getting Afflalo back. I don’t think Fournier was going to develop into a great player for us, so we didn’t give up too much. I love that Connelly got the 16th and 19th picks plus a future second rounder for our 11th and clearing a roster spot with Randolph. I was hoping we would draft Capela and one of the UCLA guys not named Lavine (Adams or Anderson), but happy with the guys we did pick up. Overall a fantastic day for the Nuggets! Would like for us to give invites to TJ Bray, Khem Birch, and Ryan Watkins for summer league. All were decent in college. Overall I would give Connelly a B+ for the day.

  • Scott

    Maybe at least we can win the summer league championship… Only title we will win for a long time.

  • Aaron

    Nuggets fans will rue the day we traded McDermott. You heard it here first. Dude will be a player.

    • Bryan

      Who is he going to be able to defend in the NBA?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/ Kalen

    Guys, for those who feel the Nuggets had a less than stellar draft, please inform us of the players you would have selected, or what you would have done differently. Simply lambasting the Nuggets for their picks without saying WHY you feel the way you do is not the type of discussion we’re trying to promote here at RMC. I have absolutely zero problems with you criticizing the team, but doing so without sound reasoning or evidence supporting your position is something I’m not going to tolerate moving forward.

    • Heisenberg

      Napier/Hood/Kyle Anderson would have been more preferable than Nurkic. Or even Capela. I have no complaints about the Harris pick. I don’t mind taking Euro players, but Nurkic’s highlight tape wasn’t that impressive IMO. Hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see it.

    • etlord1

      Glad you called some of these folks out. I’ve always believed that the only thing that warrants a criticism is a suggestion. With that being said, if people like Lauvergne, then they should really like Nurkic. They both put up nearly the same stats in the Adriatic league this season, despite the fact that Nurkic played half the number of minutes per game. Not to mention Nurkic is also three years younger.

  • heykyleinsf

    I don’t get anything less than an A from anyone.
    We got what many ranked as the 2nd best SG,
    and what some said was the only true two way player.
    We met needs.
    We got rid of AR15, got AAA back..
    some pundits were gushing over Nurkic.
    We stole Harris..

    HILARIOUS that anyone is even factoring a stash player like Jokic..
    who is purely a developmental possibility and a throw in.

    Haters gonna hate.
    I think it’s just sad.

    If you ask me.. Connelly was awesome yesterday.
    I feel great about the immediate and long term future.

  • Bobo

    Does Harris see any real time this year? If he doesn’t show real promise ball handling or running an offense, it’s hard to see him wrangling many minutes away from Nate or Foye after the 30+ going to lawson and afflalo (Much less getting minutes from Gallo or Chandler at SF).

    Seems like the only way he’ll really crack the lineup consistently is if he’s a very good defender on day one. Otherwise I think its hard to justify him over the other guard options on a regular basis

    Still like the pick long term, for sure.

    • Michael

      Harris should get a shot early in the season as I don’t believe Nate will be ready for court action at the start of the season. Proper recovery time for an ACL is 12 months + to allow for the scar tissue to solidify the anchor points, you can get away with around 9-12 months but you are taking a risk. With the style of play that Nate has, I’m guessing the medical staff will try and keep him off the court possibly until Jan just to give him a bit more time to try and prevent re-injury.
      Harris has a strong handle, good range and stroke and can pass, putting him in with any of our guards shouldn’t be a problem. Pairing him with AAA would be a strong defensive backcourt that can stretch the floor.

  • Sócrates Manzoni

    Boy the analysis at BR is really weak. They argue that nurkic is unnecesarry for the Nuggets… Did even watched one DEN game last season?! The Hickson/Mozgov/KF center rotation was painful to watch on defense

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    One really frightening potential consequence of the Afflalo trade; Evan Fournier is French. You know who else is French? Joffrey Lauvergne, our second round pick in 2013 who led the Euroleague in rebounds last season and was named first team all Adriatic League last season. Do you think he’s going to be happy about the fact that we traded Fournier, who is literally described as one of Lauvergne’s “best friends?” I’m going to say no. Prior to the traded, he signed a two year deal with Russian team Khimki that included an NBA buyout after the first season. The fact that he made sure that buyout was included shows he has at least some interest in playing in Denver. Trading one of his best friends will hurt our cause.

    There is one reason for optimism. He played in Serbia last season, and, after leaving for Khimki, he wrote his teammates a passionate goodbye letter… in Serbian. If it wasn’t written with the help of a translator, we can assume he speaks Serbian. Our second round pick, Nikola Jokic, is a Serbia native. Jusuf Nurkic, from Bosnia Herzegovina, may speak any one of the three official languages of the country, Bosnian, Croatian, or Serbian. Luckily, according to Google, there is less difference between these three languages than the Australian, British, and American dialects of English. It still doesn’t help that we traded Fournier, but hopefully one of our draft picks might convince him to come to Denver

    • Michael

      I don’t see this being a problem. Evan was cut from the French National team and Joffrey made the team and played. Yes they might be friends but I don’t think that will have an impact on Joffrey coming over, his continued development and our positional needs will be the deciding factors.

      • MacKenzie Pantoja

        I hope you’re right, but I still feel trading Fournier makes it more likely Lauvergne pulls a Fran Vasquez on us.

  • Evan Woodruff

    Hey Kaylen, you seem to know quite a bit about the draft and college players in general. I know you watch a lot of college games and are familiar with C Early from the shockers. This doesn’t have anything to do with the Nuggets (Great draft BTW) but I want to ask you how you think, completely honestly, C Early will fare in the NBA.

    The reason I ask is because I ran track for WSU last year and knew him fairly well so I’m interested in an honest unbiased opinion, and I respect yours.

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/ Kalen

      Well, thanks. Honestly though, I’ve never been a huge Early guy. He played great in the NCAA tournament but he was also five years older than some of the players he was going against, which was always something that stood in the back of my mind when I was watching him. He’s also really one dimensional. Outside of shooting, what does he bring? For a guy who’s 23, his overall skill set is still pretty limited. That, to me, is discouraging. But who knows? Lots of people really like him and think he could be one of the steals in the draft. He has the athleticism and shooting to make things happen at the next level so I wouldn’t bet against him.

  • Old Timer

    One thing that I have not seen anyone mention is Denver has three players with team options following this season that could be used in a possible deal for a disgruntled star, those players are Chandler, $7.2 million, Foye, $3,1 million, and Mozgov, $4.95 million. If Nurkic pans out, that allows Connelly to be able to use Mozgov along with Foye and Chandler as basically expiring deals which add up to over $15 million. Without Nurkic, it would be more difficult to deal Mozgov unless McGee miraculously fulfills his potential this season.

    What I am most shocked about is how Connelly was able to get the Bulls, who are trying to shed salary, to take Anthony Randolph in addition to the 11th pick. His salary is only $1.8 million, but for the Bulls that is $1.8 million less than they have to offer Melo. I believe between the 11th pick and Randolph Chicago actually added a tiny bit of salary over what the 16th and 19th picks would have made, but I did not do the research to know for sure. What can I say? I am old.

    • LBJ

      Randolph was acquired by the Bulls for his expiring contract. The Bulls can get a lot more cap space by amnestying Boozer.

    • Heisenberg

      Trading Mozgov would be a big mistake, he’s the best C on the roster.

  • googergieger

    Now we just need to move Hickson, and I’ll forget everything this front office did last season I hated. Can’t wait for next season. Hopefully Gallo comes back in top form, Afflalo back, Ty, ever improving Faried, I like our starting line up. Our bench is looking better as well, as I think Chandler thrives off it. If Hickson leaves, more minutes for Arthur which I think helps us a lot. Hope we finally see that improvement and discipline in McGee. If not, I loved Mozgov’s growth last year as well. Yup. Looking forward to next year. Hope Shaw can coach to his team, as I don’t think he still has his ideal line up.

    • heykyleinsf

      I’m with you but also wonder if Hickson stays..
      he becomes better in a role off the bench as well..
      just a terrible contract though

    • Nugman

      Moving Hickson would be great! I really think it would make the Nugs a better team. I also like your phrase “coach to his team.” Hopefully, Shaw can get his ego out of the way and let his players play to their strengths rather than force them to do things that don’t fit their games.

      • Michael

        If a coach just coaches to his players strengths and doesn’t challenge them to improve then what is the point of him being there? These guys are professional basketball players, not professional scorers, professional runners or jumpers.
        The first half of last season was rough, the players had to adjust to a new style and terminologies. Then there were the injuries/missing players and new players thrust into bigger roles than they should’ve been. I think what we saw after the All Star break is more of what we should see next season with a few tweaks.
        With your many previous posts of dislike of Shaw, you have to remember that George Karl coaches a very unconventional system of no real set plays on offense and switch everything on D. This is likely one of the big reasons he hasn’t landed another HC job yet, as this style demands a certain style of team and is not great in the playoffs.

        The change for most of the team from many years under Karl to now being under not just a new coach but a first time HC was always going to present problems. Shaw was probably more patient with some of his players, mainly Hickson, than he should’ve been. Giving him plenty of time to try and ‘get’ the defensive system or understand correct rotations etc but it just didn’t happen. Hickson had a much bigger body of work to show that he could at least produce on the offensive end compared to Mozgov who had averaged less than 10 minutes a game over his previous few seasons, which is likely the reason for the Shaw sticking with Hickson for so long. The development of Mozgov and Faried in the second half of the season should show that Shaw believes in his players. It should also show he is capable of improving big guys as well as guards, Ty had his best year yet too.

        With nothing to lose late in the season, Shaw, much to many people’s disgust, allowed Mozgov to shoot a few 3’s. Did this have an impact on our season? No. Did it show Mozgov, and the rest of the team, that if he/they put in work that Shaw will give him/them a chance? Hell yes. This is how you get guys to buy into your system and put in the extra effort.
        After the way we ended the season and now with the trade for AAA and our draft, I am very much looking forward to next season. Do I think we will challenge for a championship? No. But then again there are probably only 4-8 teams who you can say are legit contenders out of 30 teams. We have gotten better and are in a good position to be able to swing a good trade if the opportunity arises. If not we have a very deep and solid team which should (if healthy) at least make the playoffs again next year and give us something more to build on, with an eye on contending in the future.

  • Poz303

    Wow, are you kidding me?!? Nuggets had an amazing day/night.

    The trade of Fournier to Orlando for AAA was bittersweet. Big Fournier fan and I wish him the best but there is no arguing that AAA is, right now a better player. AAA will be the starter allowing Foye to move to the bench. This makes the Nuggets better all round next season.

    For those who aren’t happy with Nurkic, the kid is 19, has only been playing basketball for 4 years. Can use both hands (take note Randle). Has great footwork, very good lateral movement. Is a tough kid. Definitely has a lot of room for improvement but widely regarded as the second best center prospect in the draft (behind Embiid)

    Get Harris at 19 was great. I was a LaVine/Stauskas fan at 11 but would not have been mad had Nuggets taken Harris at 11. Would have felt it was a safer pick than LaVine or Stauskas but Stauskas was gone and LaVine would have been a big gamble.

    Not to mention Tim moved Randolph and got a 2nd round pick in 2015.

    I think it was a very very good day.

    • Heisenberg

      Nurkic needs work with his left hand.

      • Michael

        Nurkic needs work all over, the bonus is he is young and keen and has some good foundation to build on. Remember what Nene was like his first couple of years with us, constantly out of shape/overweight and in need of tightening up his skill set. Then Steve Hess took over his diet and work out regime and he transformed into a much better athlete and player. I’m not saying that Nurkic is the same player as Nene but his body type is similar at the same age (I think Nene may have been more out of shape than Nurkic). The point is that getting this guy in with our training staff and building him up will help improve on his conditioning and should make him even more of a handful. The people that say he can’t shoot, have you actually watched all of his games? Have you looked at his form on his free throws? He is 19 and a huge body, I’m guessing his coach told him to hit the block hard and look to overpower guys down low, not shoot 10-15 foot jumpers.
        Like I said in one of the scouting reporting pages Kalen put up, a lot of the weaknesses identified in the Draft Express clip were almost the same things Mozgov was doing the first half of this season. Mozgov is now 27 and has been in the NBA for 5 years (the same amount of time Nurkic has been playing for total). When a solid big man pops up in the draft you have to take a serious look, this is the first 5 we have drafted (at least in the first round) since LaFrentz or Nene (who we also traded for) and they were more 4’s than 5’s. I’m not expecting much out of Nurkic this year or even potentially next year depending on if we still have Mozzy and McGee. Giving him a year or two of solid training and development (I think he may still have another inch or so of growth in him, his father is a 7 foot 400 pound riot policeman back in Bosnia) could allow him to be a weapon for us in the future while having a year or two to get some production out of our current 5’s.