Cleat Geeks

Golden Nuggets; What to do with the 7th overall pick?

What the Denver Nuggets should assess in the NBA draft

EmmanuelMudiayThe Denver Nuggets need a lot of help going into the 2016-2017 season, everyone knows that. But, the big question is where do they look? Do they go guard and try to get Emmanual Mudiay some help in the backcourt, or do they get a big man to control the paint and take some pressure off of Kenneth Faried? There is no wrong answer, they could use help but I am going to tell you where they should look, whether it be trading down, up or using the seventh pick to their advantage.

The Denver Nuggets finished under .500 last year, going 33-49 making them 4th in the northwest division under first year head coach Mike Malone. The team ranked 20th in points per game with an average of 101.9, But were 25th in opponent points per game giving an average of 105.0. The Nuggets lacked offense and defensive efficiency. They couldn’t seem to get a key stop to win the game, or trust someone enough to make the game-winning basket. They didn’t seem to have a player who knew when to be clutch. There leading scorers were Danilo Gallinari with 19.5 and Will Barton at 14.4, who came off the bench. No other starter could average 15 points per game the entire season, not a good all-around team season. The one bright side of the Nuggets season was rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who overshot people’s expectations, averaging 12.8 ppg, 5.5 apg and just under 3 rebounds per game. He seemed to do all he could to win, but it just wasn’t enough. Everyone expected me to say Kenneth Faried was the one bright spot, but in my opinion he did not play anywhere close to expectations, averaging 12.5 ppg and only 8.7 rpg. Not the stats you’d expect from a guy nicknamed “The Manimal.”BuddyHieldCenter

The Nuggets could look to help the offensive side of the ball tremendously by looking at guards such as Buddy Hield from Oklahoma. He is a pure scorer, averaging 25 points per game who could come in and possibly lead the team in scoring. But, he also knows how to find the open man, averaging 5.7 assists per game. Or, they could look at Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine. The spartan is an all-around talent in my eyes. He averaged 19.2 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game and 7.8 assists per game. Before March Madness, Valentine was considered a top 3 talent before his Spartans were upset in the first round by Florida Gulf Coast University. They could also look to “beef” up the paint by looking at a big men like Brice Johnson from North Carolina. The dominant power forward averaged 17 points per game, pulling down an average of 10.4 rebounds per game, and those were his stats before a dominant march madness. Or possibly Stephen Zimmerman from UNLV. The 6’11 power forward is a dual threat who you can plug in at center. Any of these four players I think would help The Denver Nuggets tremendously.
DenzelValentineIn my eyes, you look at acquiring Denzel Valentine or Brice Johnson. Buddy Hield averaged more points, but Denzel seemed to be the most all around player in the NCAA last season offensive and defensively. He seemed to do more than just score, he made everyone on his team better. If not Valentine, then you take Brice Johnson at seven. People might say it’s too high, or you could have gotten him way later, but the upside of Brice Johnson is too big not too take a risk on. He brings a certain type of attitude to a team that can boost their confidence just by playing with him. But, I would pick Denzel Valentine from Michigan State University. Him and Mudiay could become one of the best back-courts in the NBA in due time, and possibly give the nuggets what they’ve been searching for the last four seasons, a playoff birth in the Western Conference.

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