Denver Nuggets Draft Watch: Before the Madness

Malik Beasley walks up on stage after getting drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the 2016 NBA Draft (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Malik Beasley walks up on stage after getting drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the 2016 NBA Draft (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The big NCAA basketball tournament is just a few weeks away and the NBA post-season is right around the corner and the Denver Nuggets find themselves with a draft pick they acquired at the trade deadline.

The Denver Nuggets have built their impressive roster based on the NBA draft with pick after successful pick including Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Monte Morris and, of course, Nikola Jokic.

President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly has been able to successfully tread the murky water that is the NBA draft and has come away with value at all levels. There is a chance the Denver Nuggets attempt to package their assets and try to land a significant piece to add to their rotation but if they do not they will have to be paying attention to the next wave of NBA hopefuls.

The 2020 class of draftees is interesting because there are a number of talented players but nobody can decide on a consensus top pick. This always makes for an interesting event as any number of players could slide down the board or be elevated to a top pick. We are still a ways away from draft day and the upcoming tournament will separate the hopefuls from the hopeless. Here is a list of four prospects that could fit well into the Nuggets’ future plans.

Saddiq Bey- SF- Villanova

Saddiq Bey may be exactly the type of player the Denver Nuggets will be searching for coming draft time.

So far this season Bey is averaging 15.9 points a game this year and shooting a blistering 45% from 3-point range, nearly 8 percent higher than he did last season. At 6’8, 215lbs Bey is a great prototypical NBA Small Forward with 3 and D potential.

He isn’t a super athlete but has the length and athleticism to give players trouble on the defensive end at the next level. Bey is a talented scorer and even has a good arsenal of post moves if he gets into the paint with the ball. He is a selfless teammate and moves the ball well and a natural tendency to find the open spot beyond the arc.

He has the chance to be a real bonafide starter and contributor at the NBA level. The Denver Nuggets have been in search of a true wing who can guard the Lebrons and Doncics of the league. He clearly isn’t there yet but with some coaching and conditioning, he could stand a fighting chance.

Jalen Smith- F/C- Maryland

If the Denver Nuggets are looking for a skilled big man to back up Nikola Jokic then Jalen Smith might be the selection. A natural athlete, Smith is one of the most skilled bigs in the 2020 draft class. If you are looking for a scorer he can face up and knock down a shot or get into the paint and finish with his post moves.

He is a polished scorer in the post and he has a soft touch around the rim. Not only that, but he has the ability to run the court and get out in transition. He is able to get down the floor and push the pace and his 6’10, 225lb frame makes him hard to stop.

He is also an elite shot-blocking big with great patience and timing. With Mason Plumlee‘s contract coming to an end soon and the question of Bol Bol‘s fit within this Nuggets team, this could be the insurance they need at the Center position.

He is no Jokic with the ball but he can put the ball on the floor and find an open shooter if needed. I highly doubt he could run the same offense, but he could at least give the Nuggets a scoring threat from multiple spots on the floor and a very solid defensive stalwart.

Reggie Perry- PF- Miss St

At 6’9 250lbs, Reggie Perry is a big-bodied Power Forward who is a load to handle. Who knows what the future holds for the Nuggets and Paul Milsap as his contract is finished after this season and they don’t currently have anyone that will fit into that role seamlessly.

Cancar and Bol Bol both have an ability to fit into that spot but both are fairly unknown quantities but with Perry you will be getting a player that fits more in the Paul Milsap-shaped roster hole.

Perry is a strong kid and loves to bang in and around the paint. Averaging 17.2 points per game this season, he is well acquainted with scoring the basketball and can do so from the 3-point line inwards. He has the ability to play above the rim as well and asserting himself on the boards.

He has great pick-and-roll/pop potential which fits what the Denver Nuggets like to do offensively with Jokic and Murray. Even though he a big body, he has the quickness to play multiple defensive positions and even play small-ball center if needed.

He isn’t the most explosive player but he has a great motor and will play hard every shift. The Denver Nuggets could find a gem in Perry if they are willing to let him grow and develop with their young core.

Tyler Bey, F- Colorado

Everyone loves when you can draft a kid from the local university. Exhibit A: Phillip Lindsay (not technically a draft pick, but who’s counting?). Tyler Bey isn’t a Colorado native but he chose to play for CU Boulder and has given them hopes to compete and go deep in the upcoming tournament.

Bey is an explosive athlete that plays above the rim. In transition, he can be a dominant scorer. Bey’s game really is about attacking the rim. He has an explosive first step and if he beats you around the corner he will likely throw it down or get fouled trying.

He is also an excellent offensive rebounder and understands where he needs to be on the court to get those chances. With rebounding being something that the Denver Nuggets value, his fit seems nice.

At 6’7 he has what appears to be a nearly 7’0 foot wingspan and his length and athleticism allow him to guard multiple positions and is a decent one-on-one defender. He is not a great play-maker yet, but he can move enough with the ball to find an open man. His jump shot is improving but still can be inconsistent. The athletic upside is undeniable and if the basketball skills follow suit they could land a really great prospect with Tyler Bey.

Next. Exploring a Denver Nuggets vs. LA Clippers Playoff Series. dark