Nuggets receive high marks for work on draft night

National media widely approve of Denver additions

The Nuggets were busy on draft night, and their efforts were widely applauded nationally. When all was said and done, they selected forward Kenneth Faried at No. 22 and then traded Raymond Felton to Portland for Andre Miller, the rights to No. 26 pick Jordan Hamilton and a future second-round pick. Denver later gave up a future second-rounder for the rights to Chu Chu Maduabum, who was drafted 56th by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here are some of the grades Denver received from the national media.

Sam Amick,
Grade: B-plus
The Nuggets had a need for another rugged rebounder and defender, and they filled it with Moorehead State's Kenneth Faried (No. 22). He is expected to be a long-time pro who cleans the glass in ways that few guys can, but his ceiling doesn't go far beyond that. They weren't alone in their interest here, as Portland was also very high on Faried at No. 21 but opted for Duke guard Nolan Smith.
Jordan Hamilton (No. 26 via Dallas), meanwhile, is a case of prioritizing the talent and acquiring a decent asset. He doesn't fit with the Nuggets' roster that is heavy at the position, but could be traded into something that does if need be.

Chad Ford,
Grade: B
The Nuggets had a busy night. Not only did they trade Raymond Felton for Andre Miller, but they ended up with three draft picks.
I won't factor the Felton/Miller trade into their draft grade. (I'll let John Hollinger pick that one apart.) But I love Kenneth Faried. He's got great energy and can really rebound the basketball. Faried probably won't be a star -- he may not even be a starter. But given his relentless enthusiasm for playing defense, it's hard to see how he doesn't stick in the league.

Jordan Hamilton is a bit harder to fathom. I like the value. But on a team with Danilo Gallinari and most likely Wilson Chandler, a restricted free agent this summer, I'm not sure how he ever gets into the game. As for Chukwudiebere Maduabum ... he's a big-time project.

Jeff Goodman,
Grade: B-plus
The biggest noise made by the Nuggets was the deal in which they acquired Andre Miller for Raymond Felton. I like that deal -- and also am a fan of the team's two first-round picks. Faried is a junkyard dog, and Hamilton is the polar opposite -- a skilled offensive player who has no desire to defend. Hamilton is worth the roll of the dice at 26.

Mike Misek,
Grade: B
Raymond Felton wasn't really needed in Denver, as the Nuggets already had a quality point guard from North Carolina in Ty Lawson on the roster. They managed to get some talent in return for Felton, receiving the expiring contract of Andre Miller and the rights to Texas sharpshooter Hamilton from the Blazers. Hamilton is a natural scorer with a lot of potential in this area, though he doesn't figure to get a lot of playing time next year unless Wilson Chandler leaves. The Nuggets also picked up Faried, who is easily the best rebounder in the draft and could be the eventual successor to Chris "Birdman" Andersen. Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri drafted countryman Maduabum, who has the nickname "Chu Chu" which makes him worthy of being drafted, alone.