New Ringer NBA mock draft has Nuggets adding another 3&D wing to the bench

Sep 25, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets assistant general manager Calvin Booth poses for a
Sep 25, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets assistant general manager Calvin Booth poses for a / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With both the NCAA Tournament and NBA regular season coming to a close, the draft buzz is heating up. The large sports media companies are updating mock drafts more frequently, accounting for college players’ performances in the tourney as well as NBA team needs. On top of that, the draft order is becoming clearer by the day (obviously the lottery can throw a wrench into the equation).

The Ringer and their draft expert Kevin O’Connor have released multiple updates to their mock draft, with the latest one coming on April 4th. While a lot of mock drafts have had the Nuggets focusing on backups for either Nikola Jokic or Jamal Murray, this one has them chasing a player in a familiar role.

The pick: Jalen Bridges, Baylor

This mock has Denver adding a 23-year-old senior, 6’7” wing out of Baylor, Jalen Bridges with the 29th overall pick. Bridges was a veteran role player for the Bears, putting up 12.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. 

Bridges excels on defense, where he can guard on and off the ball, inside and out. He’s got plenty of size and athleticism for an NBA wing and should be able to come in and be a defensive weapon almost immediately.

In college, he’s never been a high-usage player on offense, but in his senior year, he became a knockdown shooter, hitting 41.2% of his three-point attempts - a huge jump from his career numbers.

He has some playmaking skills and can make shots off the dribble, but he will be primarily used for cutting and floor spacing at the next level. This would be an interesting pick for Denver as they’ve gone for several guys in this mold recently with Christian Braun, Julian Strawther, and Peyton Watson.

While those guys have been solid, none have become integral to the Nuggets. Plus, you can never have too many wings in the NBA, especially ones who can make threes and defend at a high level. He should be able to fit in seamlessly on a good team, adding on both ends without taking anything off the table.

He should also be able to thrive in almost any lineup or combination of players. The team also has to be cognizant of losing players in the future via trades and free agency like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Porter Jr. 

Bridges isn’t a perfect modicum of either, but he could definitely be a part of replacing what either one does. This wouldn’t be the sexiest pick for the Nuggets, but it’s one that would make a lot of sense and likely pay immediate dividends.