Nuggets win tiebreaker, secure better 2024 first-round draft pick

Jun 22, 2023; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver poses for photos with the 2023 NBA
Jun 22, 2023; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver poses for photos with the 2023 NBA / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets got a big win on Monday as they beat the Los Angeles Lakers 101-99 on a Jamal Murray buzzer-beater to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series. But that wasn’t the only win the Nuggets got on Monday as the NBA announced the results of the tiebreakers for 2024 NBA draft pick positions.

The NBA draft order and draft lottery odds are determined by reverse order of finish by record. But there were six ties across the NBA that included a total of 15 teams. In other words, there were a lot of ties to be broken.

Nuggets involved in draft order tiebreaker

One of those ties involved the Nuggets, as they finished tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the second-best record in the league at 57-25. The Thunder, of course, won the tiebreaker to earn the number one seed in the Western Conference, but the draft order is determined by a different tiebreaker.

And this one went in favor of Denver, who now holds the 28th pick of the 2024 NBA draft while the Thunder own the 29th pick (that pick will go to the Utah Jazz via trade). It may not seem like much but still, first-round draft picks are one of the hottest currencies in the NBA, and for the Nuggets, it’s one of the best assets they have to work with. Every little advantage on the margins helps and this tiebreaker is no exception.

The Nuggets are used to picking late in the first round and they’ve done a good job of scouting the draft. In recent years they’ve added solid role players and prospects like Christian Braun (21st overall), Peyton Watson (30th), Julian Strawther (29th), and Jalen Pickett (32nd). It’s possible that this year’s first-round pick can become another solid upside role player.

It’s also possible that the pick is dangled as a trade asset and used to add another veteran role player to the team. If that’s the case, every added value helps, and who knows? Maybe the difference between the 28th and 29th pick in the draft will be the difference in getting a deal done. Right now the Nuggets obviously have bigger fish to fry, but this is still another small win for the franchise.