Nuggets Draft Profiles: Jake Laravia

Writer and Digital Content Specialist

Our draft profile series continues with Wake Forest Junior Jake Laravia. The Denver Nuggets hosted Laravia as part of a group workout on Tuesday, making him a potential target with the Nuggets No. 21 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Laravia spent the first two years of his collegiate career at Indiana State. He put together a strong Freshman campaign, shooting over 40% from three as a starter. But after a down Sophomore season, he made the decision to transfer to Wake Forest.

There, he reclaimed the magic from his first year, becoming a reliable three-and-D wing with a strong offensive skillset and a high basketball IQ.

He averaged 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game in his Junior year, helping to lead his team to a deep run in the NIT. Laravia is a quality prospect that is known for his ability to positively impact the games of those around him.


Passing and Playmaking:

With impressive ball handling ability for a wing, Laravia is able to make quick decisions when serving as the primary playmaker. Either as the ball handler or the roll man in a pick-and-roll, he has a knack for being in the right spot and making the right play.

His selflessness is a defining trait of his game, oftentimes passing up a good shot for a great one during his year at Wake Forest. His 3.7 assists per game were a career high for him.

Off-Ball Defense:

Using a similar court vision and feel for the game, Laravia excels as a help defender. His 1.7 steals per game last season could largely be attributable to getting in passing lanes and positioning himself well on that end of the floor.

This isn't to say anything about his on-ball defense -- which is still strong -- but in a help setting, his abilities truly shine. The Nuggets have shown a pattern in their draft workouts by meeting with high IQ players, and Laravia is no exception.


Laravia shot 55.9% from the field and 38.4% from three in his Junior season. These are numbers that any team would be excited to build upon, and it's a testament to his catch-and-shoot skillset.

The Wake Forest product's best shooting percentages come in spot-up situations, where he displays his greatest confidence as a scorer.

Areas of Improvement

Scoring off the Dribble:

On the flip side, Laravia could stand to improve his scoring off the dribble. While he absolutely can be a primary playmaker for others, it's unclear what his ceiling is as a primary shot creator for himself.

Of course, the spot-up shooting excellence provides confidence that he knows how to put the ball in the basket with ease. This could lend itself to a boost in his on-ball production.

Lacks Elite Athleticism:

In a league filled with high fliers, Laravia is generally a below-the-rim player. But this is an area of improvement that some could even deem a strength, as more grounded players tend to have increased availability.

Fit With Nuggets

The Nuggets could absolutely benefit from a player like Laravia. Of course, depth on the wings is of the utmost importance for a team that didn't have many in 2021-22, although it was largely due to injury.

Pairing Laravia with Michael Porter Jr. on the wings would provide the Nuggets with the type of versatility they need to be successful. The ability to switch everything on defense while spacing the floor on offense is the game's current trend.

Wing talent is highly sought after in the NBA today, and acquiring a player of this archetype via trade or free agency can be a difficult task. So perhaps the simplest way to infuse a roster with wing depth is to do so via the draft.