I am often guilty of being reactionary, quick to criticize and opine on the topics I hold close to my chest. What can I say? I am a very opinionated person. Once I have had time to sleep on an issue and truly give it some in-depth thought and analysis, I will often adjust my initial reaction, however slightly that may be.
Well, I gave a lot of thought to the NBA Draft as a whole but particularly to the Denver Nuggets’ peculiar selections. And despite my best intentions to think outside the box and give Tim Connelly the benefit of the doubt, I just don’t get it.
For anyone who may have missed it, the Nuggets selected Doug McDermott with the 11th pick, which made complete sense to me. It even got me excited, anticipating that a potential blockbuster trade could be on the horizon, and it would now include Danilo Gallinari because he would essentially become a redundant player with “Dougie McBuckets” in the fold.
Moments later, however, we learned that the Nuggets had sent McDermott, along with Anthony Randolph, to the Chicago Bulls in return for the Bulls’ 16th and 19th picks. Okay, I thought, this could still work. For a team with several needs and one of the deepest drafts in recent memory serving as the backdrop, maybe they were going to stockpile talent.
Things then began to fall in the Nuggets favor over the next few picks when Dario Saric, Zach LaVine, T.J. Warren and Adreian Payne were taken off the board. The Nuggets were now on the clock with the 16th pick, and James Young was still available. Perfect. An athlete who can stretch the floor and finally open up some lanes for Ty Lawson and Gallinari.
Then Adam Silver walked up to the podium and announced the pick, Jusuf Nurkic. Excuse me? You take that back right now Mr. Silver. Blasphemy.
Leave it to the Nuggets to select a Timofey Mozgov clone who will most likely be stashed over in Europe never to be heard from again. Last time I checked, Mozgov had a breakout season and proved he can be the answer at center for the foreseeable future. Not to mention the Nuggets have JaVale McGee, and his unmovable contract, coming back from injury. That’s just what they need — three centers. Good work Tim Connelly.
The Boston Celtics were of course licking their collective chops, because somehow Young fell to them at 17 and Danny Ainge actually has a clue what he is doing.
With the 19th pick, the Nuggets would select Randy Foye, er, I mean Gary Harris out of Michigan State. In Connelly’s defense, it had been a very long day and he probably forgot all about the move he made earlier to bring Arron Afflalo back to Denver.
Sure, Harris may have been a good value pick, but what are the Nuggets supposed to do with three shooting guards?
I just don’t know what to think. The Nuggets managed to add two more mediocre athletes to a team that is ripe with mediocre talent. I’m still holding out hope that somehow this all ties into a master plan to lure Kevin Love to Denver, but I just don’t see the Minnesota Timberwolves drooling over the draft rights to Nurkic.
It felt a whole lot like the Nuggets were being aggressive simply for the sake of being aggressive. Their moves made little sense and simply don’t make the Nuggets a tangibly better team than they were yesterday afternoon.
I guess Nuggets fans are in for another year of lukewarm talent, perhaps good enough to register a playoff berth, but certainly not good enough to make any noise.