By Adam Pfeifer on May 22, 2014
The Denver Nuggets have appeared to be on the cusp of a playoff run out West for a while now, but injuries have derailed that next jump. However, with a solid 11th overall pick in one of the deepest drafts in years for this June, Denver can improve their roster in a big way. So, who should they be looking at?
Last season, the Nuggets really struggled defensively. Only the lowly Lakers and Sixers allowed more points per game than Denver's 106.5 from a season ago, and they really struggled to defend the interior. Combined that and the fact that they need more depth at the two, and Gary Harris is a great fit. He's a tenacious defender with long arms and great lateral movement. Denver also loves to shoot, and Harris hit 2.3 triples per game last year.
Like I said, the Nuggets need some more perimeter scoring and depth at the shooting guard position, and Stauskas should most certainly be available at pick number 11. Stauskas could be a nice little complement to point guard Ty Lawson, who would find him to be a nice kick-out option after he splits the defense so well. Arguably the nation's best shooter, Stauskas would be a nice fit in Mile High.
Anyone noticing a trend here? The Nuggets could really use more scoring and length on the perimeter. Randy Foye and the often injured Nate Robinson provide very little size at the two, and adding a young, high-upside guy like Young makes sense. At 6'7", 215 lbs, Young will provide that length and defense on the perimeter, while also being able to light it up from three. He has great athleticism and good body control, too. I think he may fit best.
While Denver certainly needs to address the shooting guard position, they also have a gaping hole in their frontcourt. Kenneth Faried showed great flashes last year, but this defense was god awful last year, surrendering 45.3 points in the paint per game a season ago, the 6th-most in basketball. Gordon provides athleticism, aggressiveness on the glass, good length and motor. He could really help this defense turn it around, as well as rebounding.
It may not be the sexiest pick, but it makes sense. Denver needs more of a presence inside, and Payne is a very aggressive offensive rebounder. Last year, the Nuggets surrendered the 7th-most defensive boards per game (32.5), so they could use another body like Payne, who has that outside range as well. A potential pick and roll with he and Lawson could look very nice.
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