Welcome to draft week. This time next Thursday the Nuggets will be putting the finishing touches on their big board ahead of a big night for the franchise. Last week, ESPN reported that Denver could use the No. 14 pick to get off of an unwanted contract, but those talks seem like they’ve cooled a bit.
The Nuggets want to make a pick at 14 and find a way to improve their roster heading into a playoffs-or-bust season. But can they find someone to contribute immediately next year in the middle of the first round? In BSN Denver’s NBA Mock Draft 2.0, they did.
1. PHOENIX SUNS
Deandre Ayton – Center – Age 19.8 – 7-foot-1, 243 pounds – Arizona
18.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.8 SPG
Stats: 20.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 61.2% FG
After spending his last two years of high school and lone college season in Arizona, it seems likely that the Suns will make Ayton the first overall pick next month. Physically, Ayton is one of the more developed big man prospects in recent memory. He’ll immediately be regarded as one of the most athletic front court players in the league and has an inside-outside game to boot. Questions remain about his defense, but Ayton will give the Suns an exciting outlook and solid foundation alongside Devin Booker. – Wind
2. SACRAMENTO KINGS
Marvin Bagley III – Power Forward/Center – Age 19.1 – 6-foot-11, 234 pounds – Duke
Stats: 21.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 61.4% FG
Bagley could lead all rookies in scoring next season. He’s that gifted and skilled on the offensive end of the floor right now. Plus, Bagley is the type of player whose game is more suited for the NBA rather than college because of better floor spacing. While concerns lie around if he has the defensive upside to log a significant amount of minutes at center, his feel for the game, at least on the offensive end, is rare. With Doncic sliding, the Kings go with the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year second overall. -Wind