Draftmas continues on for the 12th day with the Denver Nuggets 2017 draft profile.
Denver had an improved season as they fought for a playoff spot. The Nuggets improved their win total from 33 to 40. Denver has a solid core of young players such as Emmanuel Mudiay, Jamal Murray, Malik Beasley and Nikola Jokic.
Jokic had a stellar season and seems to be on his way to stardom. He averaged 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. Jokic also posted six triple-doubles which happened to be fourth-most in the NBA during the 2016-2017 season.
Denver’s young guards and young center will be the centerpieces to continue their march towards the playoffs.
The Nuggets were a great offensive team this season averaging the third-most points in the NBA scoring 111.7 points per game. They ranked sixth in field-goal percentage (46.9 percent) and 11th in 3-point percentage (36.8 percent).
Denver also ranked second in rebounding grabbing 46.6 rebounds per game.
An area that needs improvement is in the turnover department. The Nuggets averaged 15 turnovers per game. They also could improve on rim protection as they ranked 27th in blocks per game (3.9).
Defensively, the Nuggets need to improve if they want to take that step and become a playoff team. Denver ranked 27th in points allowed per game (111.2), 29th in field goal percentage allowed (47.7 percent) and 28th in 3-point percentage allowed (37.5 percent).
Improving the team’s defense will turn the Nuggets into serious contenders.
Denver Nuggets Draft Picks & Needs
First Round: No. 13
Second Round: No. 49, No. 51
Denver needs better wing players on the roster. The Nuggets should focus on drafting defensive-minded players that will come in and become solid rotation pieces.
Depending on how the draft goes, a great perimeter defender may not be there at 13. The Nuggets may trade down or take a player they don’t necessarily need if he is the best available.
Targets & Thoughts
Pick #13: Zach Collins F/C Gonzaga
Zach Collins doesn’t fit a major need for the Nuggets but would be the best player available. Collins would help the Nuggets protect the rim as he his a great shot blocker. He is a good rebounder as well.
Collins’ low post game is much more polished than most freshmen coming out of college.
Pairing Zach Collins up with Nikola Jokic could create one of the most dangerous frontcourts in the NBA. Jokic is already great offensively and Collins is great defensively.
Collins will be able to stretch the floor offensively and won’t be in the way of Jokic on the offensive end of the court.
This pick would be taking the best available player along with improving the team’s rim protection. The Nuggets could then use their second round picks on perimeter defenders.
Pick #49: Nigel Hayes F Indiana
Nigel Hayes had a solid year at Indiana and flashed a ton of potential. Hayes is a project player who will need some development. Hayes has a 7-foot-3 wingspan that allows him to be a nuisance to the players he defends.
At Wisconsin, Hayes was a solid perimeter defender. His strength and length could help him develop into a lockdown defender in the association, which is exactly what the Nuggets need most.
Pick #51: P.J. Dozier G South Carolina
P.J. Dozier was a big reason that South Carolina made a run to the Final Four. His offensive game needs work but Dozier is one of the best perimeter defenders in the draft. He is very disruptive and can smother opponents with his on-ball defense. Denver could take a chance on Dozier and try to develop him into an elite defender in the NBA.
After finishing 40-42 the Nuggets only missed the playoffs by one game. The Denver Nuggets are a young and upcoming team that nobody really talks about. Their young players are already proving they can make the Nuggets one of the best scoring teams in the entire NBA.
If the Nuggets are able to improve their defense from bad to mediocre they will make the playoffs next season. With the three picks they own in this draft, the Nuggets should be able to find that lockdown defender from one of them.
Thanks for checking out the Denver Nuggets 2017 NBA Draft profile and tune in tomorrow for day 13 of NBA Draftmas to see what the Miami Heat are going to do.
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