5 teams to target to move back into the first round
Denver Nuggets (Pick No. 21)
The Denver Nuggets know they will be resetting themselves very soon.
Jamal Murray is due back from injury to start next season. Michael Porter Jr. too should be back after he missed most of the season. The Nuggets had to spend their season completely reinventing themselves with two key players out. They somehow survived.
Denver will be a title contender next year with both of them back — although both will need some allowance to recover from injury.
The Nuggets are a team that should always be thinking to strike when the oven is hot right now. Nikola Jokic is in his MVP window and that is not an opportunity to waste. Denver needs to get back into contention.
And the obvious thing the Nuggets need is more consistent shooting or the threat of that shooting.
Last season, Denver was 16th in the 3-point field goal percentage at 35.3-percent — impressive considering the team had the sixth-best offense in the league at 113.8 points per 100 possessions.
But that weakness was exacerbated in the playoffs. Denver finished shooting 35.7-percent in the playoffs. That was not enough to keep up with the Golden State Warriors in the Denver Nuggets’ first-round series. The Nuggets needed more.
The question is what is that more. Would adding to their depth with Terrence Ross be the right move for them? It would seemingly be a smarter move than relying on the shooters later in this draft — although Denver could probably use the help of a backup big found later in the first round.
Denver cannot afford to give up any players that are part of their rotation right now. And the best the Nuggets could offer for Terrence Ross is likely Will Barton. Barton right now might be the better player. And Ross would not afford the Nuggets any additional cap flexibility other than briefly decreasing their payroll.
There might be some difficulty finding a deal between these two teams based on their needs and what each team is willing to move at the deadline.
But the Nuggets are not a team in need of a rookie — as good as their find of Bones Hyland was last year — and adding some more shooting and scoring to boost their bench is a must for them.