Denver Nuggets forward Christian Braun is predicting a big season for one of his teammates. Braun singled out Peyton Watson, during a recent chat with The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, and predicted that he will “shock a lot of people,” this year.
“[Watson] is gonna shock a lot of people with how good he really is,” Braun said. Watson brings tone-setting defense and a high IQ on offense. He is 6-foot-7 with a wingspan of over 7 feet, and he put on 20 pounds of muscle since the beginning of last season, when he weighed in at 200 pounds.”
Watson is entering his second season as a pro and is primed to take on a few extra minutes this time around.
In his rookie campaign, Watson didn’t get many opportunities to earn a spot in the rotation. He took the floor just 23 times for Denver, playing about 8.1 minutes in each appearance. He did see more time in the NBA 2K24 Summer League and made the most of it. Denver’s No. 8 averaged 19 points per game across two runs for the summer squad.
Peyton Watson was challenged by Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic
Watson is clearly looking to take a leap in year two. On top of adding additional muscle, the 21-year-old went to Nuggets star Nikola Jokic and asked him how he can earn his trust. DNVR’s Harrison Wind detailed the conversation between the two teammates.
“I’ll never forget what he said to me and it’s something I’ll always keep with me,” Watson told Wind. “It’s coming from one of the greatest players ever to touch on basketball. He’s taken me under his wing. He wants the best for me and knows that I’m gonna have a big role this year.”
It’s a good sign that Watson is open to advice and criticism. He’s likely going to have a larger role within the team’s rotation this season. The Nuggets lost both Bruce Brown and Jeff Green in free agency, then Vlatko Cancar went down with a torn ACL, later in the summer, leaving a ton of minutes up for grabs.