The 10 greatest Nuggets in history, ranked by Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

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5. David Thompson - 20.4 PER

Thompson is a Naismith Hall of Famer and an iconic player in the NCAA, the ABA, and eventually the NBA. His career was cut short by injury and off-court issues, but that’s all that stopped the 6’4” guard from being mentioned with the all-time greats.

Thompson led NC State to an undefeated season, followed up with a national championship season. He has the only retired number at the school and now has a statue outside the arena in Raleigh.

In 1975 he was the first overall pick in both the ABA and NBA draft, eventually signing with the Nuggets. He’d play with Denver for seven seasons, and help transition the team from the ABA to NBA.

He finished top 8 in MVP voting for four consecutive seasons across both leagues. In his first year, he won the ABA All-Star game and placed second in the iconic Slam Dunk contest to Julius “Dr. J.” Erving. He led the team to the ABA Finals, but they lost to Erving’s Nets.

The next year, Thompson and the Nuggets entered the NBA where he’d make four more All-Star Games. In his Nuggets career, Thompson averaged 24.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game, while also establishing himself as one of the best dunkers in NBA history.

While at NC State, Thompson was actually credited with being part of the invention of the “alley-oop” despite dunking being disallowed by rule during his college career.