Nuggets could have their future in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 17: Jamal Murray /

The Denver Nuggets could have their stars of the future in place already with Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic.

At the age of just 20 years old Jamal Murray has already been turning the heads of local basketball fans with his contributions to the Denver Nuggets and the potential he has to grow as a player.

It won’t be long before the heads of the national basketball fans start to notice what Murray can do, and with that will come big market teams looking to poach the young player from the Nuggets’ protective grip. With an exciting offensive game and so many signs of potential on display already, though, they’ll want to do all they can to keep him.

It is integral to the Nugget’s front office that they keep Murray around along with Jokic to grow the core of the young team and, if everything goes according to plan and they add the right pieces, contend for titles in the next five to six years. More so than just Nikola Jokic’s incredible passing ability to transform the offense as the anchor of the team, Murray as a budding talent alongside him makes all the difference to add more depth and promise.

Just to show the importance of Jamal Murray, who’s still only 20 years old, here are some of the things he accomplished in this first season after being the seventh overall pick for Denver in the 2016 draft:

Murray was selected on the All-Rookie Second Team at the end of the season after averaging 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 21.5 minutes per game (including 10 starts). He also became the Rising Stars MVP after hitting nine three-pointers to spur him towards 34 points.

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The 6’4” rookie from Kentucky played the majority of the season for the Nuggets, who won seven more games last season from the 2015-16 season. Murray having plenty of big games and playing a key role helped that progress.

Murray shot 40.4 percent from the floor and 33.4 percent from the three-point line to go along with a PER of 11.9. Those shooting percentages aren’t fantastic, but it’s clear he has smooth form and should only improve as he gets more comfortable in the league.

Being a rookie, Murray has a lot of potential to continue to grow as a player and a leader for the Nuggets.

He could even start at point guard during the 2017-18 season at times alongside Gary Harris, putting together a very strong backcourt with lots of upside.

The Nuggets are a young team with infinite potential who can be guided by veteran Paul Millsap. Jamal Murray is a perfect example of a young, skilled player — from his floaters to his pull-up jumpers — with infinite potential, who has already shown glimpses of becoming a great offensive player in the future. More so than his obvious talent as a go-to scorer and off-ball shooter, he’ll be a highly well-rounded player if his playmaking continues to develop.

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As Nuggets fans we have been truly blessed with the talent and promise that is Jamal Murray and the rest of the team. From Millsap, to Juancho Hernangomez, to Harris, to Jokic, there are so many exciting pieces.