The Denver Nuggets are dangerously close to competing for an NBA Championship, but need just a couple more pieces to do so. One piece in particular could be that of a true shooting guard able to create offense on his own. With so many wing players already, but not one that can be consistently good nor healthy, the Nuggets could look to address the shooting guard spot.
Technically having three solid small forwards in Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Andre Iguodala the Nuggets only have one legitimate shooting guard to fill in the wing spots in Corey Brewer who could be leaving them this summer.
With the 27th pick in the first round and not many huge names in this year’s Draft, the Nuggets are going to either have to get lucky or do some serious research. I think a mixture of both could work the Nuggets into grabbing one of two guys if all goes according to plan.
The first option would be Allen Crabbe out of California. He’s a big guard who can rebound – averaged over six per game last year – and also score the basketball having averaged over 18 points in his final year with the Bears. Crabbe is a long two guard who can finish at the rim and make plays in transition. He also moves well without the ball and can evade screens well on defense.
If Crabbe were to fall, and this next option is unavailable, the Nuggets would have to think real hard about why they shouldn’t draft him.
Tim Hardaway Jr. has both big play ability and the pedigree coming out of Michigan, and the Nuggets would have absolutely no choice but to take him if he were to fall to 27. His draft status has been fairly unpredictable as he has had some specific criticisms such as his ball handling and streaky shooting.
But, as a rookie there are downsides to be expected. Weaknesses are normal for most guys coming out of college of course, and at the NBA level with the right coach and system Hardaway Jr. could be a great player. He could fit in nicely with the Nuggets who look to score quick and often. It would not hurt being coached by one of the best there is, George Karl.
These two may be somewhat of a long shot, but it is not absurd to think one of them could be available at 27. Of course with the way the Nuggets are built at the moment, I would recommend going best-available either way. But, chances are either Crabbe or Hardaway Jr. would definitely be just that at 27.