Projecting The Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup After The NBA Draft


Nov 23, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson (3), small forward Danilo Gallinari (8) and small forward Kenneth Faried (35) bring the ball up court in the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 102-91. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Before I go into detail and project my starting lineup for the 2014-15′ Denver Nuggets, I would just like to note that general manager Tim Connelly did a heck of a job during this years draft. Sure, many people would have liked to see Doug McDermott don a Denver Nuggets jersey, but that wasn’t a position of need. Denver would select Jusuf Nurkic; 19-year-old center out of Bosnia who will likely stay overseas for two-years. Also, they would get the steal of the draft in my opinion, selecting shooting guard Gary Harris at 19th overall out of Michigan state.

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I know free agency is right around the corner, but it’s time to start thinking about the projected starting lineup post draft.

Mar 12, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Denver Nuggets defeated the Orlando Magic 120-112. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ty Lawson, PG:

First off, the team will have Ty Lawson starting at the point. Even though he only appeared in 62 games last year due to ankle and foot injuries, he put up the best numbers of his career — probably because so many guys were out and he was relied on to score more. Lawson averaged 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 8.8 assists to go along with 1.6 steals per. Ty would end up missing the teams last six games due to a linger ankle injury in which he’s still recovering from.

Mar 10, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo (4) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Arron Afflalo, SG:

Second, expect Arron Afflalo to slide into the starting lineup after being reacquired from Orlando in exchange for Evan Fournier and a 2nd-round pick. Afflalo will bring leadership and a defensive presence to the Nuggets where he spent three-years of his NBA career. Afflalo’s stats were inflated last season due to being the primary scorer for a rebuilding Magic squad. Arron would average 18.2 points, 3.6 assists, and 3.4 assists — nearly earning himself an All-Star bid. Afflalo averaged 11.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists during his three-year stint with the Nuggets.

Mar 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) during the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Danilo Gallinari, SF:

Assuming he’s ready to go by training camp, Danilo Gallinari will return to the starting lineup after missing the entire season with a torn ACL he suffered in 2013. Gallo was a key part of the Nuggets 57-win season, creating shots for himself and being able to space the floor. The forward averaged a career-high 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Another reason Denver missed Gallo last season was because of his ability to knock down three’s. He’s a career 36.9% percent three-point shooter, shooting 37.3% percent in 2012-13′.

Apr 6, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) reacts to a play during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Kenneth Faried, PF:

“The Manimal” Kenneth Faried will be the teams starting power forward. He would struggle out of the gates in Brian Shaw‘s half-court offense, but his offense exploded during the last two months of the season. Faried would accumulate 13.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, and nearly one block a game during the 2013-14’ campaign but averaged 19.2 points in the month of March and 21.0 points in the month of April.

Jan 31, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov (25) during the first half against the Toronto Raptors at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Timofey Mozgov, C:

And finally at the center position this could go either way, but given his performance towards the end of the season, you’d have to go with Timofey Mozgov here. Mozgov was a beast in the month of April, averaging 15.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks. During the teams last five games of the regular season, Mozzy averaged 16.8 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks.

Here’s a look at the lineup:

PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Arron Afflalo
SF: Danilo Gallinari
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: Timofey Mozgov

The Nuggets bench will be extremely deep this year like in years past. When you have players like Nate Robinson (PG), Randy Foye (SG), Wilson Chandler (SF), J.J. Hickson (PF), and JaVale McGee headlining your second unit, I think you are in good hands. Not to mention the draft additions of Gary Harris (SG) and Jusuf Nurkic (C). It’s still unknown whether Nurkic will be in the NBA for the next two-years if he plans on developing overseas. As for Harris, he will get playing time but unsure of how much.