Analyzing the Denver Nuggets 2017 NBA Draft Picks

The Denver Nuggets had the 13th, 49th, and 51st picks in this draft. They used the first pick on Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell, then promptly traded him to the Utah Jazz for forward Trey Lyles and the 24th pick. Let's take a look at who Denver selected. 

Pick #24, Round 1: Tyler Lydon - PF - Syracuse

Lydon is a sweet shooting power forward that will fit well next to Nikola Jokic in the frontcourt. He's not an explosive athlete or much of a threat to shoot off the dribble, but his potential as a knock down catch-and-shoot player will fit nicely with Jokic's passing skills and the drive and kick ability of Denver's guards. Defensively, Lydon lacks the lateral quickness to defend perimeter players and the frame to guard bigger post players, but he has great instincts and a knack for timing blocks. 

Pick #49, Round 2: Vlatko Cancar - PF - Mega Bemax (International)

Like Lydon, Cancar is a stretch 4 with the potential to become a nice complement to Jokic. At 6'8 with a 6'11 wingspan, Cancar has good size for the position. He's not an explosive athlete, but he can play comfortably above the rim due to his length. He has worked to become a very good shooter, both in spot-up and off the dribble situations, and can attack closeouts and drive to the rim. Cancar runs well in transition and has shown flashes of playmaking ability both in half court sets and on the break. He's an eager defender, and his reach will help make up for his lack of elite strength or quickness on that side of the floor. 

Pick #51, Round 2: Monte Morris - PG - Iowa State

During his career at Iowa State, Morris finished three out of his four seasons as the NCAA’s leader in assist-to-turnover ratio and was one of the best floor generals in the country playing in one of the nation’s most competitive conferences.  Morris has uncanny playmaking ability, able to both lead the break and create offense in half-court sets. The speedy guard has a polished array of dribble moves that allow him to penetrate into the paint, where he’ll either dish a crisp pass to an open teammate or finish at the rim with an acrobatic move. Morris also has a smooth jumper, shooting almost 38% from three last year. Morris can hold his own on the other end of the court as well- his 6’5 wingspan and quick hands helped him average about two steals a game for four seasons straight. Though not the most impressive athlete, I don’t see this lack of explosiveness as a big liability- Morris’ game never relied on pure athleticism, and his length should help alleviate that weakness even further on the defensive end. He’d be a good backup to Emmanuel Mudiay, and could push for a starting spot should Mudiay struggle.

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