The Denver Nuggets hold the 11th overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft, their highest selection since 2003 when the team landed Carmelo Anthony.
But instead of rebuilding around whomever the pick at No. 11 would be, Nuggets management prefers a veteran, according to the Denver Post. The team is actively shopping the pick in hopes of landing a veteran and moving back in the draft.
The Nuggets have already taken — and made — their fair share of trade phone calls concerning their draft pick weeks ahead of the NBA draft.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations about a ton of different things — picks, trades. We’re pretty active right now,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said.
So they’ll retool, and they’ll start by using the pick as a key cog in the improvement. Trading the selection for a veteran and moving up in the draft are the two areas of most interest to the Nuggets.
A number of teams have multiple picks or a wealth of young players. Both could be possible trading partners. Some are simply unhappy with their draft position and could want to move into the No. 11 slot.
For instance, the Philadelphia 76ers own seven picks, including five in the second round. The Milwaukee Bucks pick four times, including three in the second round. The Phoenix Suns also have four picks.
Connelly told the Post he expects trade talks to pick up next week, and the Denver Post suggests given the Nuggets’ playoff drought, no player on the roster right now should be considered untouchable.
Now, all Connelly has to do is acquire the talent that can return Denver to the playoffs. He has got to think big and take risks.
No player on the Nuggets should be considered untouchable. And no deal, whether it’s a trade for the top pick in this year’s draft or disgruntled Minnesota star Kevin Love, should be considered too implausible to pursue.
While a Love-to-Denver deal seems to have little to no traction at this point, the Nuggets seem inclined to find a veteran piece instead of adding a prospect come draft time.