4 Players who can help the Denver Nuggets replace Bruce Brown

Nikola Jokic and Bruce Brown, Denver Nuggets. Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Nikola Jokic and Bruce Brown, Denver Nuggets. Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

After a title run this past season, one of the Denver Nuggets’ key contributors earned a payday in free agency — just not in Denver. Bruce Brown, who played a vital role in the Nuggets’ run to the 2023 NBA title, was offered more money than the Nuggets could afford to match.

Back in July, the former Nugget signed a two-year, $45 million contract with the Indiana Pacers. The most that Denver could have offered the Massachusetts native was $7.8 million. Obviously, there won’t be any hard feelings as the Pacers offered a contract Denver could have never afforded.

During his lone season with the Nuggets, Brown averaged over 11 points per game on 48% shooting. He also tallied over four rebounds per game and just over three assists per game in only 28 minutes in each contest. On top of that, Brown provided a spark for the Nuggets off of the bench and was a versatile defender. Throughout the season, Nuggets fans and media applauded Brown and his ability to thrive in his role. The void left by his departure will be a huge loss for the champs, but it is one where they will have a few internal options who can fill it.

Christian Braun
One potential option would be last year’s rookie Christian Braun, who played his college ball at Kansas. The first-round selection for the Nuggets showed tremendous growth throughout the season and became a key contributor down the stretch of the title run. In the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, Braun had a bit of a coming-out party. He scored 15 points off of the bench to help Denver take Game 3.

Julian Strawther

This year’s first-round pick for the Denver Nuggets, Julian Strawther, may be forced to play a huge role right away in the regular season. The former Gonzaga University 3-and-D specialist shot nearly 41 percent from three and was a huge part of their team’s success.  If Strawther can have continued success from beyond the arc and play tough defense he could be a viable option to help replace Brown.

Hunter Tyson

Hunter Tyson, who was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of this year’s draft, found his way to the Denver Nuggets via trade. Fortunately for Denver, he has made waves all summer long. The former Clemson University forward was the star of the Nuggets Summer League team. He led the team in points, three-pointers made, and rebounds per game. The 6-foot 8-inch forward could provide even more length to an already lengthy Nuggets team.

Peyton Watson

Peyton Watson is the final option to replace Brown in Denver’s rotation. The second-year forward could be called on to take a larger role going into this upcoming season. With the state of the roster last year, Watson was only called on to play eight minutes per game in his 23 appearances. The 20-year-old put up three points per game in limited action. A year of development may have done Watson well though as he was a star this summer for the Nuggets Summer League team along with Tyson.