What started out as a promising day, when the Denver Nuggets traded Evan Fournier and the 56th pick to the Orlando Magic for Arron Afflalo, became disastrous when Adam Silver took the podium to announce Jusuf Nurkic as the 16th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.
The Denver Nuggets had acquired the 16th pick from the Chicago Bulls previously in the evening in exchange for the rights to Doug McDermott, who they clearly should have kept.
Instead, they picked Nurkic, a Bosnian-born giant, standing at 6’11’’ and weighing in at 280 pounds. This pick is baffling on so many levels, I’m not sure where to start.
For a team desperately in need of a true difference maker, someone who can make their presence felt on the court, drafting a raw player who will be stashed away in Europe for the foreseeable future makes as much sense as an Australian player with zero competitive experience being selected with the 5th overall pick. But I digress.
Not to mention the Nuggets don’t have a need at center. Timofey Mozgov had a breakout season, and clearly demonstrated he is more than capable of holding down the paint for years to come.
I was truly excited entering this draft, hoping that Tim Connelly would follow through on his promise to be aggressive this offseason. Well, he certainly has been aggressive tonight, but trading down in the draft to select more mediocre players to add to an already mediocre core wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.
I’m still holding out hope that they can make another move to shake up this core and bring a true difference maker to Denver. It may not happen tonight, like we all thought, but it could still happen over the next few days.
Fans of the Denver Nuggets can only hope.