Nuggets News: Postdraft Links, Vol. 2

Now that the instant Twitter analysis part of the draft process has concluded for most major media outlets, some real narrative content is starting to emerge. Aside from a few late evaluations, included below are news stories and interesting tidbits I’ve discovered over the last 24 hours about the Nuggets’ draft selections that should give you an even better idea of how well things went on Thursday night. If you find similar stories that I’ve left out, please feel free to include them in the comments section with accompanying commentary.

Adding to the already extensive list of postdraft praise for the Nuggets, NBA Draft guru Ed Isaacson declares the Nuggets one of his seven “winners” on draft night. Isaacson owns the draft-dedicated website NBADraftBlog.com and is also a draft analyst for NBCSports.com. He studies these guys all year long and in exchange people pay him for his opinion, similar to Chad Ford (who gave the Nuggets a B-plus for their draft) and Jonathan Givony (who had Nurkic ranked as a top 10 player virtually all year). In other words, it’s probably wise to listen to them when they talk…

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According to Yahoo!Sports.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Gary Harris used to have a self-made banner hanging above his bed that read, “What did you do today that will get you into the NBA?” Harris is the second person I’ve ever heard of who’s hung motivational mementos on their bedroom walls. The other: Steven King. Things seemed to work out pretty well for him…

DenverPost.com’s Christopher Dempsey details Jusuf Nurkic’s background and manages to squeeze some intriguing quotes out of Tim Connelly regarding the open competition for playing time next season.

The NBA.com Nuggets’ homepage has all kinds of great postdraft content up right now. There’s a Gary Harris conference call, video recap of the draft featuring the always charismatic Scott Hastings and this gem of a press conference where Tim Connelly introduces Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris. This is really the first candid footage we’ve seen of Nurkic in the U.S. and it doesn’t disappoint. Although he can barely speak English, his sense of humor and crazy character are certain manifested — even through all that gum.

Grantland.com’s Zach Lowe wrote a detailed breakdown of what the Nuggets did on draft day and where they stand heading into free agency. He claims the Nuggets had one of the more intriguing drafts of any team outside the Sixers and says they’re “a team to watch” moving forward. Lowe also reported early Friday morning that the Nuggets will meet with Kenneth Faried and his representatives to talk about signing an extension to remain in Denver.

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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.
  • heykyleinsf

    Manimal staying is as good as how we traded and drafted.
    Let’s build on this now and quit fantasizing that we need to blow up this team.

    not only that but outside the Spurs..
    we have the best bench in the NBA now

    • Nugman

      We still need a post up big man,,,,then we will have a real good bench. Without that inside presence, we are missing a link.

      • heykyleinsf

        I’m inclined to agree that we are most unsure at the 5
        Mozzy and Javale could work.. but I’m worried about that too.

      • MacKenzie Pantoja

        Nurkic is a post up big man.

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

        Like MacKenzie said below, Nurkic is exactly that. In fact, I might make the argument that Nurkic will come in and immediately become the Nuggets best low-post threat. He’s a true back-to-the-basket player with several polished post moves and a soft touch around the rim. I think Nuggets fans are gonna be pretty surprised at how skilled he is right off the bat.

        • herpderpnuggets

          I like the optimism, and I think he should have a roster spot, but we should wait to see what he does in the Summer League first.

        • Nugman

          Let’s hope you’re right. We really need someone who can be a real post up threat for 10-15 possessions a game. If they are a serious post threat it will up open the court for the shooters. I think the Nuggets need that more than a stretch 4. The inside -out game is very effective

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      The only thing I feel mildly worried about is backup point guard… At this point, we have plenty of backup bigs, mostly in Europe, and we’re set at 2 guard, but Nate Robinson is coming off a torn ACL and he’s a free agent next season. I just hope Erick Green is ready by 2015.

  • Heisenberg

    Faried shouldn’t get more than 5-7 million (per year). Sadly I fear the front office will give him 10+ M per…

    • Zenbu

      Faried is not just a role player. He is showing he can and will put in the work to develop into an all star caliber pf. He is not content being an energy. His post all star break numbers showed his worth to the team. His points weren’t just from the typical hustle points. He has a go to move in the post. He won’t ever be great on defense, but he deserves around 10 M.

      • Heisenberg

        Millsap is a better PF and he got 9.5 M. Faried can’t shoot and can’t defend. I like the guy but if they give him that much it’s a big mistake. They’d be better off letting him walk.

        • MacKenzie Pantoja

          Comparing him to Millsap is simply not fair, simply because Millsap is a bargain. If Faried gets 9 million dollars this year (which strikes me as fair), if you compare his contract to that of Millsap, all you are doing is proving that Millsap is underpaid, not that Faried is overpaid.

          • Heisenberg

            It is fair because it shows market value. Zach Randolph, also a much better PF, got 2 years for 20 M. If those guys were making 15 M then we could argue Faried deserves 10 but they aren’t. West and Ibaka, both much better than Faried, are making 12 M.

            Absolute MAX for Faried should be 8 Million.

            • MacKenzie Pantoja

              Now here is where I disagree… I don’t believe Randolph is a much better power forward… he suffers from many of the same defensive limitations as Faried (only weak defender in Grizzlies lineup) and it’s hard to say he’s a better scorer, getting more points than Faried but with less efficiency. And he’s 32. Faried is more valuable than Randolph. Millsap, on the other hand, is one of the most underrated players in the NBA

              • Heisenberg

                I think a large part of that efficiency difference is due to Randolph having a better midrange game, therefore he’s taking more shots outside the paint than Faried. I do agree that they’re both pretty lame on defense.

        • Aaron Durkin

          It took years for millsap to become the player he is today. In that same amount of time Faried has the potintal to become that player.

          • Heisenberg

            So we overpay Faried HOPING that he becomes as good as Millsap?

      • Michael

        I agree Faried needs to be paid, however I don’t agree that he should get 10 M per. I imagine his agent is going to start somewhere around the 10 M + mark and I’m hoping that the sides agree on a contract around 8-9M range which is a good deal for both sides.

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      The accuracy of the statement depends on how fluky you feel the late season surge was. In his last 25 games, he averaged 19.8 points on 55% shooting, 69% on free throws, along with 10.8 rebounds per game. The only downside was 2.3 turnovers per game. If you are a metrics guy like me, a usage rate of 25.4 and a true shooting percentage of 58.7%, plus a rebound rate of 18.7%. For context: only Dwyane Wade, James Harden, Kevin Love, Stephen Curry, Lebron James, and Kevin Durant had a usage rate that high and a true shooting percentage that good last season, and only Love had a rebound rate that good (and it was exactly 18.7%). I think we can acknowledge that the surge was at least a bit fluky, but he did also make legitimate improvements in getting deep position in the post.

      • Heisenberg

        Faried is decent offensively but mediocre on defense. I’m a big believer in defense being very important so that hurts his value for me.

        He had a nice end of the season, but Denver shouldn’t overpay for that. If anything Denver should see how he performs this season before offering any extension.

        • MacKenzie Pantoja

          Hey, I’m a big believer in defense too. But Faried didn’t have a “nice end of season.” He had an amazing end of season. He played like an all star for 25 games. I doubt he’s really that good, but if he’s even close to as good as the player we saw late last season, he deserves 10 million. My guess is that he isn’t that close, and is worth about 9

          • Heisenberg

            9 million seems somewhat fair. It is a bit of an overpay in my opinion but would still be better than the McGee extension.

        • MacKenzie Pantoja

          Oh, and you have to admit, Faried has been as durable as they come thus far in his career

  • gallogallo88

    I am worried that harris might not get playing time and won’t develop :(

  • trank

    stephen king is a lousy b-ball player!

  • Aaron Durkin

    Love the Harris draft pick. He plays hard and now has a chip on his shoulder. He has the ability to step up right away on the def end right away.

  • Marcus Williams

    I feel that the biggest skill the Nuggets need as a team is shooting. Denver drafted arguably, the best shooting big man in the draft, who would have made an immediate impact as a stretch 4. Denver then traded him away for “upside” and “potential” in a big man, along with an undersized shooting guard. I know that I’m in the extreme minority here, but I dislike the trade, and wished they had stayed with McDermott.

    • Sharkboy242

      I think defense will triumph more into success, and both Harris and Nurkic have a higher upside in that regard.

    • Tom Darrow

      Ty, Nate, AAA, Foye, Harris, Gallo, Chandler are all pretty good outside shooters. Arthur developed a pretty reliable outside shot, though he was clearly hobbled at times which affected his midrange. Even Moz is pretty decent from the baseline. There are plenty of options to spread the court and give guys like Faried, Hickson, and McGee room around the rim. I’d say the one constant of the Connelly regime has been getting rid of bad shooters (Andre Miller, Iguodala, Brewer, Koufos, Stone, Randolph) and replacing them with guys who can shoot; Hickson is the exception that proves the rule.

      I think McDermott will be a good player for Chicago, but I don’t think the Nuggets need him that badly.

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

      McDermott is not going to be able to defend NBA power forwards on a regular basis — at least not very well. He’s still only 6-8 and doesn’t exactly leave the floor at a lightening-fast rate.

      The Nuggets upgraded their outside shooting tremendously on draft night. They traded for Arron Afflalo (top 10 in the NBA in 3-point percentage last year) and drafted Gary Harris (a career 39 percent 3-point shooter in college). Add that to Randy Foye (top 10 in the NBA in 3-pointers made last year), Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson and the Nuggets are looking like a very formidable team from downtown.

    • COfoEVA

      The nuggets traded for an established shooter and a lock down defender. they were going to take Harris or Nurkic at 11 anyway, this was a savvy move.