In a recent article on Bleacher Report by Mo Dakhil, Denver Nuggets wing Christian Braun was predicted to have the highest ceiling of the team’s young players. With former Nugget Bruce Brown heading to the Indiana Pacers on a two-year $45 million dollar contract, Braun will likely be asked to fill his role.
Coming off of a national championship for the Kansas Jayhawks, Braun averaged 15.5 minutes per game in his rookie campaign in Denver. With the loss of Brown and the extensive injury history of Michael Porter Jr., it would seem an uptick in Braun’s playing time is expected this upcoming season. During his limited action last year, Braun averaged 4.7 points per game and shot just over 35% from behind the arc.
Though Nuggets fans got to watch Braun contribute all season, it wasn’t until his breakout performance in the NBA Finals that the rest of the basketball world got a glimpse of what he’s capable of. In Game 3 against Miami, Braun went scorched earth, scoring 15 points on 7-8 shooting from the field. Most of his scoring was done in the fourth quarter, which helped the Nuggets close out the game and take a commanding lead on the way to their first NBA championship in franchise history.
So awesome to see a rookie in Christian Braun have a huge game on this NBA Finals stage. pic.twitter.com/D1sDZjAnMz
Denver Nuggets guard Peyton Watson could be in store for leap this season
Also receiving recognition in this article on Bleacher Report was former UCLA Bruin Peyton Watson. Watson is a slashing wing who will need to work on his long-range shooting in order to earn significant playing time. Last season Watson played in 23 games for the eventual champs averaging three points per game. During the 2023 summer league, he appeared in two games and was impressive, averaging 19 points per game. Many have speculated the second-year pro could be a breakout star for the Nuggets this season.
In just a few weeks the NBA preseason will get underway. Denver will open up their five-game exhibition slate against the Phoenix Suns on October 10th. The matchup may have a bit of juice despite it coming in the preseason, as the Nuggets eliminated the Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals last spring in six games. Phoenix is expected to be a real thorn in Denver’s side this season, as they look to repeat as champions. The addition of Bradley Beal added even more star power to a roster with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker already on board