2007-08 Record: 50-32; 2nd Northwest
Draft Picks: 20
Key Free Agents
G Allen Iverson (early termination)
G J.R. Smith (restricted)
F Eduardo Najera
How they got here and what they need
The Nuggets once again got into the playoffs...and once again were bounced in the first round, this time falling to the eventual conference champion Lakers. Their inability/unwillingness to buckle down on the defensive end (outside of Marcus Camby) was on display throughout the series as Los Angeles pretty much took whatever they wanted on the offensive end of the floor. And there have been whispers this offseason about the possibility of a trade involving Carmelo Anthony, and Allen Iverson can opt out and become a free agent if he so chooses.
As for what this team needs, the Nuggets need a guy who can come off the bench and supply the team with some defense. Eduardo Najera would give his all whenever he got into the game, but for the remainder of the bench it seemed to be a quest to take as many shots as they could before Carmelo and Allen checked back into the game. Defense is an attitude, and it would be wise for Denver to select someone who believes in that end of the floor.
Who they take
Well, a solid perimeter defender in the form of Kansas' Brandon Rush may be on the board at twenty. Also an unselfish player on the offensive end, he'd have no problem with having to settle with whatever crumbs came his way while Melo and AI took the majority of the shots. If available, the Nuggets should select him.
Draft History (since 2000)
2007: No Picks
2006: Leon Powe (49)
2005: Jarrett Jack (22), Axel Hervelle (52)
2004: Jameer Nelson (20)
2003: Carmelo Anthony (3), Sani Becirovic (46)
2002: Nickoloz Tskitishvili (5), Frank Williams (25), Vincent Yarbrough (33)
2001: No Picks
2000: Mamadou N'diaye (26), Dan McClintock (53)