Pick: Doug McDermott, forward, Creighton
With the 11th pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the Denver Nuggets selected Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton. He’s a shooter, simple as that. This pick did surprise me- I was thinking that they would use this pick to get Gary Harris, but when they draft the 5th highest scorer in college basketball history, I couldn’t complain.
The thing about this pick is that he plays very much like Danilo Gallinari, so they most likely will not play together. Denver has a number of stretch threes that can shoot, this pick doesn’t make a lot of sense if they wanted a draft pick that can start contributing right away, something that would be hard to get that late in the draft, which is why they traded him.
It seemed that Denver thought along these same lines, because the Nuggets traded McDermott to the Chicago Bulls for the 16th and 19th picks. The Nuggets also made a trade earlier in the day, trading Evan Fournier and the 56th pick to the Orlando Magic for guard Arron Afflalo.
The former Nugget Afflalo is also unlikely to be in a yellow Nuggets jersey next year, as they will likely be moving him on in a trade as well. The Nuggets don’t have the money to pay Afflalo, only giving up Fournier’s small contract, and the Nuggets frankly don’t have the money for him.
The speculation of all this shuffling is (hopefully) an effort to get Kevin Love. Their trade to Minnesota would give up the salary with Gallinari or Wilson Chandler, and Kenneth Faried, in order to pay Love. That was the big free agent before Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James, and has fallen into the shadows a little bit, but is the main target for the Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors. Love would be a great addition to the Nuggets, but the Warriors have a good deal on the table, it’ll be very interesting to see.
The McDermott trade let Denver draft Jusuf Nurkic. He’s a big international player, something that is always expected with the Nuggets. This player will likely be left to play overseas while he matures. The Nuggets do have JaVale McGee and Timofey Mozgov, so there is no need for Nuric right away. This is only the case if the NBA does green light the McDermott trade, which they should.
And in the end, Denver still gets Gary Harris. The Nuggets should have gotten Harris the first time, but were lucky to have had him slide so late, which is a definite steal. The trade gave Denver Nurkic, so it was good in the end, even though he should have gone way earlier. He will be able to come into Denver and be able to provide a great defensive presence, something that Brian Shaw should be happy about.
The Nuggets are the winners of the night. They didn’t get the best pick, but turned their 11th pick where they would have gotten Harris into one where they got both Harris and Nurkic. It was a great night in the mile high city.