The Denver Nuggets entered the 2014 NBA Draft with the 11th-overall selection after they missed out on the playoffs since 2003.
Throughout the draft process, it had been reported the Nuggets were going to be very active and 11th-overall pick was readily available. The Nuggets made a big move earlier in the day on Thursday when they dealt the 56th-overall pick in the second round in the 2014 NBA Draft and 21 year-old swingman Evan Fournier to the Orlando Magic for Guard Arron Afflalo. Afflalo was dealt from the Nuggets to the Magic in the four-team deal that sent Dwight Howard from the Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers and is coming off of the best season of his career.
Then, the Nuggets selected former Creighton Blue Jays’ forward Doug McDermott with the 11th-overall selection. Soon after, a trade with the Chicago Bulls was announced. The Nuggets sent the rights to McDermott to the Chicago Bulls for both of their first round selections, the 16th-overall pick and the 19th-overall pick.
With the 16th-overall pick, the Nuggets took Bosnian center Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic averaged 11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 16.6 minutes per game in the Adriatic League this season. He shot 54.5% from the field and 70.1% from the free throw line. The last time he had his measurements taken was as the Eurocamp in 2013. He measured in at 6’11.5 in shoes and 280 lbs. with a wingspan of 7’2. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express ranks him as the sixth-best prospect in the draft.
Although he is extremely raw at just 19 years old and will have to adjust to the life in the NBA, he has fantastic size and could develop into a very good player. With two first round picks, it was an excellent move for the Nuggets to make. They traded down from 11 and still grabbed arguably one of the 10 best players in the draft.