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Nuggets general manager: Don’t expect too much from No. 11 pick

Jun 2, 2014, 8:56 PM EDT

Denver Nuggets Press Conference Denver Nuggets Press Conference

By draft night, the class of 2014 – once hailed as the best in a decade – will be reduced to a collection of has beens and never weres. Maybe the Cavaliers will be fortunate enough to snag a bit player at No. 1.

Every year, we go through this process.

Draft classes are described reasonably – in this case, as a strong one. Then, a subset of NBA general managers demean the talent pool.

If one were skeptical, one might say the league executives are only trying to downplay expectations so it doesn’t look as bad if they draft a bust. If one were skeptical.

Up to the plate now is Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly.

Connelly, via Nicki Jhabvala The Denver Post:

“I think we’re honest with ourselves, the 11th pick on a team that should be in the playoffs generally doesn’t have a huge impact from Day 1,” he said. “Very few rookies had any impact this year on playoff teams. As our roster is presently constituted, who knows how we’re going to look after the draft. I think it’s unfair to put too much emphasis on the 11th pick.”

Here are 11 players in no particular order

The Nuggets are guaranteed a chance to pick at least one of those players. And if they don’t select one of them, it’s because they deem someone else more valuable. I’d say that’s a pretty strong position.

Not all of those 11 will succeed in the NBA, but relative to other draft classes, that’s an impressive top 11.

And Connelly probably shouldn’t worry too much about Day 1. Denver is on the outside looking in of next year’s playoff race no matter who falls to No. 11. A rookie needing a little time to adjust to the NBA is hardly a reason not to emphasize a lottery pick in this draft.

The Nuggets should draft whomever projects to be the best player long term, and if they do that right, they’ll have a valuable piece and won’t have to hedge in the media.

  1. longtallsam - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    You name 11 players without listing Doug McDermott. Hmmm.

    • sumkat - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      I could name 20 players without naming McDermott

      14 blocks….in 4 years. One trick pony who can’t create his own shot.

      • dexterismyhero - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        I think he can be better than Korver. He has a nose for the ball and falling down the draft could get him on a decent team.

    • duhwighthoward - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      It would be nothing short of miraculous if that guy gets drafted. Wait, Robert Sacre got drafted and he’s still in the NBA. I guess anything is possible nowadays.

      • sumkat - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        He’ll get drafted. He has a spot in the NBA as a shooter. He may of even been a late lottery pick in an off draft. But this year? With the talent coming out, anywhere in the top 20 is a big risk. Unless you are team with a clear need for a guy that can space the floor, but don’t need him to be very good at much else, I could see it. Outside of that, he’s Kyle Korver, but not as good

  2. themagicfanguy - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Because McDermott is nothing but a taller Jimmer, bust in the making.

  3. khmerson562 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Dario saric, Levine

  4. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    That’s kind of insulting to whoever they pick.

  5. muathjam21 - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Do you people here at PBT love writing falsely leading headlines? If you read his entire quote, it’s a perfectly legitimately statement. He views the Nuggets as a playoff caliber team, and thus, an 11th pick overall usually doesn’t have much impact on a playoff caliber team.

  6. sumkat - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Maybe leaving the door open to move the pick for an established player. Someone that could have more of an “impact on a team that should be in the playoffs”?

    I doubt there will be any time in the next 5 years that the 11 pick will get you the return it will get you this year

  7. yesser12 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    If they get hit with the injury bug again, they probably won’t have a choice but to play the pick and hope they impact.

  8. shanelsweet - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    The NBA is a man’s game. Teenagers don’t win. Fans don’t want to believe it sometimes. For example, there are Philly fans who swear that they’ll be winning this year what with MCW, Noel and a bunch of draft picks from this draft. It just never works that way.
    And, blowing up your team and/or management team because they don’t win a championship doesn’t work either. But, try telling that to the fans of OKC or Indiana. You wind up with a bunch of mercenary, me-first type of folks, and that’s never good in any team sport.

    • sumkat - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      As a Sixers fan, and one who lives in Philly, NOBODY thinks they are going to win anything next year. Even with a great draft, they aren’t a playoff team next year

      Indy and OKC are both built through the draft, what are you talking about “mercenary, me first type”? Maybe the dumbest thing I’ve read on here….ever.

  9. saint1997 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Great point about the ‘weak’ rumours to save their job. At 11 the Nugs should either look to draft a strong 2 guard (Stauskas/LaVine?) or package a trade for a real impact player

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