Editor’s note: This is a guess post from Justin Becker of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can follow the Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page, and for more NBA basketball news visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues – a fantasy basketball blog.
Who the Denver Nuggets Should Target in the 2014 NBA Draft
The Denver Nuggets began the 2013-2014 season with a new coach and high hopes. Unfortunately, a very difficult Western Conference and a rash of injuries to key players has left the Nuggets puzzled and confused. There is a bit of good news, though, for Nuggets fans. Due to the 2011 trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, Denver will receive the Knicks’ first-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Even better for Nuggets’ fans is that the Knicks are having an even worse season, currently 29-40 and holding the 11th worst record in the NBA. The Nuggets’ own pick, if not lower than the Knicks pick, will go to the Orlando Magic. In what will probably be one of the deepest drafts in the past decade, the Nuggets will have a good chance at landing a high-class prospect on their roster.
Denver’s roster contains a lot of good young players, but other than Ty Lawson at point guard, there are no other positions they should ignore in the draft. Kenneth Faried and Danilo Galinari are both solid young players, but the former has injury problems and the latter has had defensive troubles. In the 2014 draft, Denver should have no problem finding improvements over both players.
Since the season isn’t over yet and anything can happen as far as draft picks go, it’s hard to tell what pick the Nuggets will hold in the draft. There is a good chance that they fall in the lottery, though. Based on that assumption, let’s take a look at some players they should target adding to their team next season.
Rodney Hood, SF – Duke
Rodney Hood often gets overlooked with all the hype going to his teammate Jabari Parker. However, if you’ve watched the way Hood plays, you will see that he holds a lot of talent and has a bright future ahead of him. He holds the ability to play either perimeter position and, at 6-foot-8, has tremendous length for either a shooting guard or a small forward. He is athletic enough to take opponents off the dribble, but can also keep opponents honest with his accurate outside shot. Add to that an advanced basketball IQ and a high intelligence of the game, and the Nuggets could find themselves a chance at a great addition to their team.
Rodney Hood only has a couple of things he needs to work on, which is a good thing for a Nuggets team that can provide that help. He needs to add some strength to his game, improve his defending and improve as a rebounder. Other than that, he is one of the top players in the draft at his position and would look great in a Nugget uniform.
Noah Vonleh, PF – Indiana
Noah Vonleh hasn’t really gotten the same publicity as many of the other top prospects have received, but his potential is just as good. He already possesses an NBA-ready body at 6-foot-10, 240 pounds, which is a plus for any team. He’s a long forward that would most likely develop into a great shot blocker in the NBA. He has an incredible motor, is an excellent rebounder and will be a warrior down low. Aside from his great inside game, he can also handle the ball efficiently and has a decent perimeter game.
With the Nuggets’ young and talented front-court rotation, Vonleh would be a great addition. He would give Denver a huge boost going into next season. Although he is a bit of a tweener and is still quite raw offensively, he has the time and ability to improve. Just because he isn’t talked about as much doesn’t mean you should overlook him. He’s an outstanding player with a very high ceiling.
Doug McDermott, SF – Creighton
Doug McDermott has gotten a lot of hype due to his high Player Efficiency Rating. According to Hollinger, it stands at 33.68, a number that is hard to believe. First of all, he is one of the best scorers in the league that can score from pretty much anywhere on the court. He has an increasing range on his jumper and also does well with his short-range game. He’s a smart, heady forward with a phenomenal motor. In addition, he is the coach’s son. With that comes a high basketball IQ and a deep understanding of the game.
Adding McDermott would help spread the floor out and space it out nicely. Although he isn’t an elite athlete, he makes up for it with his shooting and scoring. He is a bit of a tweener and needs to add a little strength, but much like Vonleh those can be improved at the NBA level. There’s no doubt that this young player can ball. The Nuggets should definitely keep him in their radar and name him as one of their targets if given the chance.
Aaron Gordon, PF – Arizona
A great way to describe Aaron Gordon out of Arizona is to compare him to Blake Griffin. He’s simply a freakishly athletic forward with a terrific motor. He dominates down low with his explosive leaping ability and his excellent defending. In addition, he also possesses good ball handling skills, which is surprising for someone of his size and position.
Although he does have quite an ugly jump shot, Blake Griffin has proven that it can get better. It’s something he’ll have to work at, but it can be done. If he can add a jump shot to his game, then there is no doubt that he will be a star in the NBA. He’s a joy to watch and can be used as a pump-up machine for his teammates and fans. Adding him to the team would bring a lot of hype to Nuggets fans and will fit nicely in their rotation.
The Denver Nuggets have a lot of choices come draft day June 26. Aside from the point guard position, they can basically choose any player. I think their better off going with a forward that can bring a lot of defensive momentum and high-efficiency down low on the offensive end. They can’t really go wrong with their pick, but it will most likely set the stage for how they perform next season. Good luck, Denver Nuggets.