Breaking Down Denver’s Draft Selections
After making the playoffs for an incredible 10 straight years, the Denver Nuggets have found themselves in a slump. The Nuggets have now missed the postseason two straight years, and to say that the Denver franchise is looking for an immediate change in that trend would be a massive understatement. Luckily, the Nuggets were in a great position to find an impact player with the seventh overall choice in the draft.
Did Denver get that? It absolutely did in drafting Emmanuel Mudiay. It is by no means a stretch to say that Mudiay could wind up being the star of this entire class, as he had the overall talent to be taken in the top spot. Mudiay is as NBA-ready as it gets, and he will be a threat right away at point guard for this struggling Denver franchise. The Nuggets could have easily made a trade to guarantee that they picked up Mudiay earlier, but things fell into place without Denver having to give up anything.
Graphic via nextimpulsesports
A 6’5” point guard that can do just about anything on offense and has the athleticism to guard anyone is a nice player to have. The Western Conference is no joke, and for the Nuggets to get back towards the top, they need a leader on the floor that can change the game at a moment’s notice. Mudiay can do that, and this is simply a perfect fit for Denver.
As for the Nuggets’ second selection, they picked up another point guard in Nikola Radicevic from Spain. He’s another point guard with good size, but obviously, he’s not going to be expected to do the types of things that Mudiay will.
Looking Into Denver’s Future
Barring any unforeseen injuries or anything of that nature, Mudiay is going to be a franchise point guard. The Nuggets need a franchise point guard, so the combination makes a lot of sense. He’s a player that just has too many skills to fail. There’s no doubt that he will be expected to be a main contributor for this Denver squad for many years to come.
However, Mudiay still has room to develop. Nuggets fans will be able to see his wide range of skills when he steps onto the court for the first time, but they will also see some areas that he will need work. And the good news there is that Denver will no doubt give him the coaching and resources that he needs to improve in areas such as shooting and ball-handling.
The Nuggets aren’t going to be a championship contender next season, but that really isn’t the expectation. All Denver fans want is for Mudiay to be the player that they expect him to be, and while he won’t be in the All-Star Game in year one, lots of All-Star appearances could very well be in his future.
There’s no doubt that the Nuggets got a steal, and now this team could finally be back on the right track towards a return to the playoffs.
Graphic via grantland