The Denver Nuggets certainly have the pieces to be a respectable team with a strong 2014 NBA Draft. In this draft, the Nuggets will need to use their first pick on a shooting guard. As the depth chart sits right now, Randy Foye would get the nod at this position. Foye, a capable shooter, is probably best coming off of the bench.
The Nuggets could also use a small forward, as Danilo Gallinari recovers from an ACL injury. Additionally, Denver will need to look at a big man to replace free agent Darrell Arthur.
With the 11th pick in the NBA Draft, the Nuggets should select Nik Stauskas of the University of Michigan. Stauskas, possibly the draft’s best long-range shooter, can immediately join the Nuggets and battle Foye at starting shooting guard. The Nuggets, the third fastest team in the NBA in terms of pace, present a unique opportunity for Stauskas. Certainly he can shoot off of the dribble and off of the catch in the half court. In Denver’s offense, Stauskas can find open opportunities to launch from deep as Ty Lawson and others push the ball up the court as well. Many fans do not realize the development Stauskas made at Michigan, molding himself into a viable playmaker from a standstill shooter. His tireless work ethic is undeniable, and he fits a massive hole on Denver’s roster.
In the second round, the Nuggets should use the 41st overall selection on DeAndre Daniels. Daniels, who starred on Connecticut’s championship squad, has the size and length to be a productive NBA small forward. Although he needs to add weight, his physical tools present the possibility of a solid NBA wing player. Daniels’ biggest strength lies on the perimeter, displaying the ability to spot-up from deep and pull up off of the bounce. When Daniels is focused, he can certainly defend at a high level, however, he still remains inconsistent on that end of the floor. Daniels could provide a potential low-risk, high-reward option for the Nuggets.
The Nuggets should conclude their draft by snatching Khem Birch from UNLV with the 56th pick. Birch has the frame of an NBA big man and can play either the power forward or center positions. His strengths rely on the defensive end, where he blocked 3.8 shots per game this past season. He has a quick jump and is extremely athletic, and these physical attributes give scouts the hope that he can be a solid NBA contributor. Certainly, he possesses an unpolished offensive game, but with this pick in the late second round, his physical prowess is quite valuable.