After an appropriate time for mourning, it’s time to evaluate the Denver Nuggets 2017-’18 season.
First, I want to get something out of the way:
The Denver Nuggets traded the 13th pick in the 2017 NBA draft to the Utah Jazz for Trey Lyles and the 24th pick. The Jazz used the pick to draft Louisville combo guard Donovan Mitchell.
In the 2013 NBA draft, the Nuggets drafted Rudy Gobert then traded him to Utah for a second round pick and cash.
The online community is all over those two transactions, pointing out that Utah is in the playoffs while Denver is not.
Denver would not have selected Mitchell even if they had kept the 13th pick. The only thing we needed less than another Power Forward was a streak-shooting combo guard. The idea that Mitchell is preferred over Harris is absurd.
Heading into the 2013 draft, the Nuggets had three Centers (four if you count JJ Hickson). Timofey Mozgov at the time was considered the prize of the Carmelo Anthony trade. JaVale McGee was a freak athlete with a questionable ethic and Kosta Koufos a solid, fundamental performer. There was nowhere a 7’1″ skinny, French project could carve out minutes and the Nuggets got immediate value instead of stashing Gobert overseas.
Neither move was considered controversial at the time. Neither should be considered controversial now. Mitchell is tied for 58th in FG%, Gobert is a one-dimensional shot-blocker in the mold of Chris “Birdman” Andersen.
Jokic is better than Gobert. Harris is better than Mitchell.
This is the danger of outlets like 104.3 the Fan in the local market. The ratings strategy is to create controversy. Mike Evans has been on the radio in Denver for years bringing the contrary . It’s transparent and it’s bad sports media. It fosters an atmosphere where everyone has a “take”, the more outrageous the better.
If the contention is that the Nuggets draft poorly, I’d point out that Nikola Jokic was the 41st pick.
The Denver Nuggets have their core. It’s as exciting a trio as has ever been here.
The only reason to lament the Nuggets fortunes is to create controversy. Controversy where there is none.
On to the player grades and season awards: