2013 NBA Draft: Denver Nuggets to Trade Up For Ben McLemore?

By Peter Sherwill
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

For the Denver Nuggets, one of the biggest weaknesses of their 2012-13 NBA season was 3-point shooting. The Nuggets ranked 20th in 3-point percentage and only 29th in makes and attempts. One way to remedy that problem is be to look to the 2013 NBA Draft and Ben McLemore from the University of Kansas.

Unfortunately for the Nuggets, this is not a terribly deep draft, nor are there any true superstars in the making to be had. For this reason, it will be tough to find another diamond in the rough in the mold of Kenneth Faried or Evan Fournier as they have in the last two NBA Drafts. The Nuggets will also be picking much lower in the draft at 27 overall, whereas they nabbed Faried at 22 and Fournier at 20. They will be lucky to get a solid rotation player that late in the draft.

With Masai Ujiri headed north to the Toronto Raptors, George Karl on the unemployment line and Andre Iguodala an unrestricted free agent, the Nuggets need to be committed to developing their young roster for the long haul. Ujiri’s replacement has been named in new Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly and Karl’s replacement should follow soon.

Now the Nuggets need to think about replacing Iguodala’s position of shooting guard in the starting lineup.

SI is reporting that the Orlando Magic are listening to offers for the second overall pick in this month’s draft. Connelly’s first order of business must be to find out what it would take to pry that pick from the Magic so that the Nuggets can select McLemore.

A package of Kosta Koufos and Andre Miller along with that no. 27 pick could seal the deal. Koufos and Miller offer decent productivity for relatively cheap and are both non-guaranteed after the 2013-14 season. This allows the Magic to be competitive while retaining maximum cap flexibility for the future.  In addition, the Nuggets get a sharpshooting 3-point threat that they sorely lacked last season in McLemore, who shot .420 from deep as a Jayhawk.

McLemore would make the perfect backcourt mate for Ty Lawson for many years to come in the Mile High City. Owner Josh Kroenke has already taken several calculated risks this offseason; it is time to take another one and pull the trigger on a draft night deal and acquire the sniper these Nuggets need.

Peter Sherwill is a Denver Nuggets writer for RantSports.com. Follow himon Twitter @PeterSherwill or add him to your network on Google

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