4 NCAA Tournament prospects Nuggets fans can watch as potential Nikola Jokic backup

Wisconsin v Purdue
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The Nuggets are looking to rack up championships with their current core around generational talent, Nikola Jokic. Fans aren’t exactly scouring mock drafts for future stars; the time is now. The team has traded away several future first-round picks, and when they are selecting, it figures to be towards the end of the round.

But the Nuggets do currently possess their 2024 first-round pick, and it could be an important one. The current roster isn’t getting any younger or cheaper. It will be hard for the front office to keep this core together and they will have to go deep into the luxury tax to do so.

That means drafting cheap talent is paramount to keeping this run going. The stars are in place, but Denver needs to nail their moves on the margins to extend this title window for as long as possible and to maximize the prime of Nikola Jokic - and Jamal Murray to a lesser extent.

They’ve already done well in years past by adding Christain Braun and Peyton Watson, who have both emerged as solid rotation players and versatile wing depth off the bench. They were both drafted in the 20s with late first-round picks. 

Julian Strawther was another recent pick at the end of the first round that has shown some potential. The team is hoping he’ll be able to help bolster their depth in the future.

One hole on the roster that hasn’t really ever been addressed is the backup center. It’s not a position the Nuggets should invest in, as the role is limited behind Jokic. But it’s still important, as the team has gotten crushed with the Joker on the bench in recent years.

As Jokic ages, the team would like him to do so gracefully, and the more rest they can afford him the better he can preserve his body. Having a viable backup big man who can log solid minutes and keep the team afloat - especially during the regular season - is something that could be extremely helpful.

This year’s first-round pick seems like a great spot for Denver to target this type of prospect. There are a number of good big-man prospects that should be available around the end of the first round. Let’s take a look at four players in the NCAA Tournament who may be available to the Nuggets in the NBA Draft.