It was impossible not to notice DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, dreadlocks flowing off his powerful 6-foot-5 frame, as he raced downcourt at Summer League. The undrafted 25-year-old who played last season in Denmark entered the Las Vegas showcase as a relatively unknown commodity. Nuggets executives spoke highly of the 6-foot-5 wing in the lead-up to Summer League but he was still a mystery to many.
After a quiet Las Vegas debut, Akoon-Purcell poured in 19-points and added three steals against the Celtics. Around 48 hours later he tallied 18 points and recorded three more steals against the Bucks. After Denver’s fourth Summer League game, the Nuggets shut Akoon-Purcell down. They had seen enough.
Akoon-Purcell signed a two-way contract with Denver that became official Tuesday morning. Under the parameters of his deal, Akoon-Purcell can spend up to 45 days with the Nuggets next year. The rest of his season will be spent in the G League.
Here’s what Akoon-Purcell brings to the table and if he’ll be able to help the Nuggets next year.
Defensive energy and intensity
Last summer, Torrey Craig came into Summer League with little fanfare. Like Akoon-Purcell, Nuggets executives were excited about his skill-set but weren’t sure how he’d perform. Craig ended up being the story of Denver’s 2017 Summer League thanks to his memorable 27-point outing but also because of his play on the defensive end of the floor and the energy he brought on a possession-by-possession basis. He was later signed to a two-way contract and played in 39 games for the Nuggets last season.