Nuggets stock watch: 2 intriguing risers, and 1 disappointing faller

Denver Nuggets v San Antonio Spurs
Denver Nuggets v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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Stock up: Peyton Watson

Going into the season, the Nuggets were optimistic that Watson could step up in his second season and become a reliable bench contributor. But expecting a 21-year-old with limited experience to be able to step into a championship team and replace proven veterans like Bruce Brown and Jeff Green was ambitious.

Yet lately, Watson has stepped up his game and has given the team exactly what it needs from the bench. Watson has been a great injection of energy, flying around on defense, being an irritant, and getting into opponents’ airspace.

He’s using his length and athleticism to make game-changing plays, but he’s also playing within himself and showing improved basketball IQ. He’s also earned the trust of Jokic and has had some massive moments in some of the biggest games.

Recently, Watson was a team-high +11 off the bench for Denver in their big win over the Celtics. He made several big momentum plays on both ends and looked like he belonged. As the playoffs get closer, Watson looks like he’s earned a spot in the rotation and could come in and swing some games, possibly even finding himself on the floor in crunch time.