DRAFT TRADE: Nuggets acquire 41st overall pick Jarred Vanderbilt in trade with Orlando Magic for 43rd overall pick Justin Jackson and a future second-round pick

Pre-Draft Analysis

Areas Of Strength
It’s quite possible that the Denver Nuggets are set for the foreseeable future at center and both guard spots. The trick is being able to re-sign that center Nikola Jokic, a restricted free agent. But Jokic and guards Jamal Murray and Gary Harris represent the core of this team. They are all 23 years old or younger and provide promise for Denver. The Nuggets would be wasting time by drafting at any of those positions in 2018.

Needs Work
Wilson Chandler and Will Barton have given the Nuggets quality play at small forward for years, but you wonder if time’s up. Barton is a free agent this summer and could move on, while Chandler is 31 and no longer one of the Nuggets’ offensive focal points. A solid swingman could give the Nuggets some balance and flexibility in their rotation.

Two Stats That Matter
118.0 -- The Nuggets scored 118.0 points per 100 possessions with Will Barton, Gary Harris, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray on the floor together. The only four-man combination that played at least 500 minutes together with a better on-court OffRtg was the Warriors' four All-Stars.

37.8 percent -- The Nuggets ranked last in opponent 3-point percentage, allowing their opponents to shoot 37.8 percent from beyond the arc.

-- John Schuhmann

The Way To Go
One of the silver linings about missing the playoffs -- as Denver did -- is netting a decent Draft position. The Nuggets pick 14th and chances are they will see a decent collection of talent. They’d be thrilled if either Miles Bridges of Michigan State or Mikal Bridges of Villanova falls that far. Kevin Knox from Kentucky would be a solid booby prize, as would Zhaire Smith of Texas Tech, both of whom are small forwards with pop.

2017-18 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 109.6 (6th)
Defensive: 108.8 (26th)

Under Contract
G: Jamal Murray
G: Gary Harris
G: Malik Beasley
F: Paul Millsap
F: Kenneth Faried
F: Trey Lyles
F: Juan Hernangomez
F: Tyler Lydon

Free Agents
G: Devin Harris (unrestricted)
F: Darrell Arthur (player option)
F: Wilson Chandler (player option)
F: Richard Jefferson (unrestricted)
F/G: Will Barton (unrestricted)
F/G: Torrey Craig (restricted)
C: Nikola Jokic (team option)

Recent Draft History
2017:
Donovan Mitchell (13), traded to Utah; Vlatko Cancar (49), Monte Morris (51)
2016: Jamal Murray (7), Juan Hernangomez (15), Malik Beasley (19), Petr Cornelie (53), Daniel Hamilton (56), traded to Oklahoma City
2015: Emmanuel Mudiay (7), Nikola Radicevic (57)
2014: Doug McDermott (11), traded to Chicago; Nikola Jokic (41), Roy Marble (56)
2013: Rudy Gobert (27), traded to Utah
2012: Evan Fournier (20), Quincy Miller (38), Izzet Turkyilmaz (50)

-- Shaun Powell


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