Dempsey's Deliveries: Building Around Nikola Jokić, Draft and Free Agency Outlook
NOTE: Opinions are solely Christopher Dempsey’s and do not represent or reflect the opinions of the Denver Nuggets or its front office.
Q: Which player(s) are the Nuggets trying to build the team around? – Jason Jones
A: Jason- That list starts with center Nikola Jokic. In him, they have a player with the potential to produce more than 20 points and 10 rebounds a night, plus be a high-level assist athlete who almost always makes good decisions with the ball. Jokic can play from the block to the 3-point line and is the player that most helps the Nuggets’ offense remain fluid and fast while making players around him better as well. But Jokic is just one of a few young players that appear to be in the Nuggets’ long-term plans. Shooting guard Gary Harris and combo guard Jamal Murray are among those the Nuggets are bullish about for the future. The team has a foundation in place, and now is clear about what it needs to compliment those players to take the Nuggets from a 40-win team to a playoff team, and beyond.
Q: Do you think (Frank) Ntilikina can play for the Nuggets? -- Julien Haderer
A: Julien – If the question is simply in general: Yes, Frank Ntilikina could play for the Nuggets. I think he’s the best international prospect on the board and could be a very good point guard in the NBA. He has a game that, in some respects, reminds me of Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder. Just not with Schroder’s top end speed. But, at the end of the day, the Nuggets have point guards that they like for now and in the future – such as Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay. So, I’d say Ntilikina, if he is on the board at that time (which I don’t expect), is not likely to be picked by the Nuggets in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
— Paolo Listana(@ListanaJ) May 16, 2017
A: Paolo – Paul Millsap is a fine player for sure. Offensively, he averaged a career-high last season at 18.1 points per game. And he’s multi-dimensional – Millsap can be productive on the block all the way out to the 3-point line. Millsap even averaged 3.7 assists, so he’d potentially be a nice fit in the Nuggets’ system that avoids ball stoppers. And defensively, he’d add to help solidify team defense, which is something the Nuggets could use.
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Christopher Dempsey: firstname.lastname@example.org or @chrisadempsey on Twitter