With the 22nd pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets selected Kenneth Faried, whose energy, effort and rebounding ability draw comparisons to Dennis Rodman.
Two years later, the Nuggets hold the 27th pick, which happens to be where Rodman was taken by the Detroit Pistons in 1986 – more than three years before Faried was born.
While finding an impact player is always a possibility at any point of any draft, the Nuggets enjoy a tremendous amount of flexibility heading into the 2013 NBA Draft.
They can use the selection themselves if there is a player they like at No. 27. They can trade down into the second-round. They can package the pick as part of a larger trade. They can trade the pick for a future selection.
“Over the next 24 hours, the phone calls will become more and more regular,” Nuggets general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said Wednesday. “We have a couple options right now. We want to go into tomorrow night with options A, B and C, so whatever happens in a fluid environment, we’re not caught unprepared.”
Connelly will be overseeing his first draft as a general manager. After three years as assistant general manager with the New Orleans Hornets, he joined the Nuggets on June 17.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “Certainly it’s different being in this chair. But I’ve been in a lot of drafts. It’s always an exciting time. It’s good to work the phones and kind of get a lay of the land. It’s a good opportunity for us to add to our team.”
With a roster that includes 20-year-olds Evan Fournier and Quincy Miller, 22-year-old Jordan Hamilton and 23-year-olds Faried and Anthony Randolph, the Nuggets are not in the market for another young prospect.
“We’re in a unique situation because I look at some of our guys and they’re as young as some of these guys in the draft – younger in some cases,” Connelly said. “That’s why I’m open to any and all possibilities at 27. I look at our roster and I see a couple guys who, if they were in this draft, would be way, way higher than 27.”
As part of their draft preparations, the Nuggets evaluated more than 20 prospects during workouts at Pepsi Center. Some of those players could be added to Denver’s summer league team should they be overlooked on draft night.
“We don’t have a second-round pick, so we’re going to be very active in the undrafted market,” Connelly said. “I think we have a good team to sell those guys on.”