2018 NBA Mock Draft: What if Memphis wins the lottery?

BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Rawle Alkins
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Rawle Alkins /
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73. . G/F. Oregon. Troy Brown. 14. player

I keep mentioning in this space every week how the Nuggets will likely need to replace Will Barton’s production going into next year, but I realize now many do not know how important Barton was to the team’s success. Brown can’t come close in his rookie season to matching the potential 6th Man of the Year’s output, but Denver needs to figure out how its offense will survive next season if Barton moves on.

Barton averaged 15.7 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game on .509/.346/.749 shooting. The Nuggets’ sixth-ranked offense was even better when Barton played, and he helped many of their most effective lineups sing. Having a bigger guy like Barton gave Gary Harris the chance to guard smaller players, while Jamal Murray had some support as the team’s backcourt initiator. Brown can do those same things, with a better chance to grow with the Nuggets than Barton.

Brown was incredibly inconsistent this season at Oregon, but still managed 11.1 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game, shooting 44 percent from the field. Some athletic guys simply cannot produce up to the level of their physical gifts, but Brown did. He will need to learn on the fly to join the Nuggets on their win-now quest.