Grading The Denver Nuggets Draft

What did the Denver Nuggets need going into the NBA Draft?

A superstar? A shooter? To get older? A backup center and point guard (in case JaVale McGee and Andre Miller leave)?

All are fair considerations. However, Masai Ujiri and the Denver Nuggets did like they usually do and go the unconvential way.

They did the same thing in 2011 when they didn’t rush out and trade Carmelo Anthony, like many observers suggested they do. And it’s fair to say that panned out.

As well as in the last draft when they decided to stand pat and let a player like Kenneth Faried fall to them. And then trading for a player like Jordan Hamilton, who had a questionable attitude in college.

And again before last season, when they traded for Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer, despite being set at both positions.

And they did the same thing at the trade deadline when they traded veteran center Nene for a young, athletic and erratic center in JaVale McGee.

And it’s fair to say all those moves have panned out.

So what makes drafting Evan Fournier and Quincy Miller different?

Despite only being 19 years old, Fournier has not only succeeded but has dominated at a far higher level than the NCAA. He is considered the best prospect from France since Tony Parker. Even better than Nicolas Batum.

He also has a cockiness about him that this Nuggets team lacks. That cockiness has helped him become a dangerous player in the clutch and cooliness under pressure.

His size and athleticsm makes him an intriguing shooting guard prospect, one that has great ball handling skills and a jumper to match. Probably his biggest strength is getting the basket and he has a knack for creating contact and getting his shot up as soon as he feels the contact – which can be a good and bad thing.

The thought around many in the NBA is that the Nuggets are going to stash Fournier overseas for a year, which frees up a roster spot for this season.

Miller is another player that has a great combination of talent and size. He has a smooth jump shot and despite his lack of strength he has shown he isn’t afraid of battling near the basket. However, it is easy to see why he slipped to the second round. Many teams were scared off by his ACL injury, which hampered his freshman year at Baylor. He wasn’t able to show his full arsenal last season for the Bears. Miller still is a work in progress, he has a slow release on his jump shot and needs to bulk up. However, any time you get a player with his talent in the second round it is worth the gamble.

And Izzet Turkyilmaz, well he looks good on video.


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Tags: Andre Miller Carmelo Anthony Corey Brewer Denver Nuggets Evan Fournier Izzet Turkyilmaz JaVale McGee Jordan Hamilton Kenneth Faried Masai Ujiri Nene Nicolas Batum Quincy Miller Rudy Fernandez Tony Parker

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