The Denver Nuggets accomplished a lot Thursday night. They got the player(s) they wanted and parted way with a player that wasn’t happy with his role.
The Nuggets used the 22nd pick on Kenneth Faried, who fell into their laps and then dealt Raymond Felton for veteran point guard Andre Miller and the 26th pick, which ended up being swingman Jordan Hamilton.
Faried and Hamilton were each predicted to go much higher than the 22nd, and both are steals in a rather weak draft.
Faried may be the best defending big man in the draft and may have been the best rebounding big man in college history. He is relentless on the glass, and his motor and drive makes him a valuable role player in the NBA. Some people compare him to Ben Wallace and Dennis Rodman, but a not so outrageous comparison is a more athletic Louis Amundson or a bigger Renaldo Balkman, only better skilled and with a better attitude.
Him and Ty Lawson exchanged tweets Thursday after the draft, which should make Nuggets fans happy.
It still isn’t sure whose minutes Faried will take/or if he will take any. But the most likely candidate is Kenyon Martin, who is a free agent or Nene (if the Nuggets can’t work on an extension before June 30).
Hamilton wasn’t a happy camper going into the draft, telling Chris Tomasson that he wasn’t thrilled by not being invited to the Green Room and was out to prove teams wrong.
But with questions about his attitude, Hamilton dropped all the way to the 26th pick in the draft and he is out to prove many of the coaches wrong. In fact, he blamed his college coach Rick Barnes for his fall, saying that Barnes told teams he wasn’t ‘coachable’.
Hamilton also said he believes he can develop into a Danny Granger or Paul Pierce-type of player.
Couple of things to notice about Hamilton is he has great size (6-foot-8, 228 pounds), is a really good shooter and lets not forget that he is only 21.
One thing to look at with Hamilton is his attitude and how George Karl responds to it. Hamilton could replace JR Smith in Karl’s doghouse if Hamilton brings a negative attitude to Denver.
Many people are assuming that Smith isn’t coming back after the selection of Hamilton, but with his versatility he may be a better replacement for Wilson Chandler.
The Nuggets also welcomed back their old starting point guard, the always consistent Miller. Miller is a high character player, who doesn’t miss games – similar to Arron Afflalo. He is a pass-first point guard, who will be a great leader on the Nuggets young team. The Nuggets had to deal Miller to get Allen Iverson in 2007.
The question is does Miller start or Lawson or are the Nuggets going to start both and move Afflalo to the frontcourt to join Danilo Gallinari and Nene (if he resigns).
It is tough to imagine Miller and/or Lawson wanting to come off the bench, but no doubt it is a challenge that Karl will gladly accept. Miller and Lawson are two of his favorite players and he loves playing small ball.
According to Massai Ujiri, Miller has said he doesn’t mind coming off of the bench.
Denver also snagged Chukwudiebere Maduabum with the 56th pick (from the Los Angeles Lakers). Maduabum is an extremely athletic big man, who the Nuggets brass are really high on.
Tags: Allen Iverson Andre Miller Arron Afflalo Ben Wallace Chukwudiebere Maduabum Danilo Gallinari Danny Granger Dennis Rodman Denver Nuggets George Karl J.R. Smith Jordan Hamilton JR Smith Kenneth Faried Kenyon Martin Los Angeles Lakers Paul Pierce Raymond Felton Renaldo Balkman Ty Lawson Wilson Chandler