With the 2022 NBA draft looming, the big boards are being finalized, the mock draft is starting to take shape, and the Denver Nuggets are hoping to make some big moves on draft night to fulfill their championship aspirations.
The Nuggets have the 21st and 30th picks in this year’s draft. While the Nuggets may not end up using these picks, it’s best to prepare and understand some of the draft prospects in the second half of the first round. There are several players who are expected to go higher but aren’t a good fit for the Nuggets, and there are several players in Denver’s draft range who might choose to avoid the Nuggets.
But who is the Nuggets favorite? It’s all speculation until the pick comes along, but the Nuggets are looking to beef up their defense and wing rotation this offseason. It’s a good place to start because there are a variety of wings that can help the Nuggets enter this draft class.
Mile High Sports 2022 NBA Draft Articles
2022 NBA Draft Big Board
Why the 2022 draft matters to the Nuggets
Shooting Guard | Small Forward | Power Forward | Center
Let’s discuss the top 10 players:
Dyson Daniels | Wing | G League Ignite
Draft Age: 19, Height: 6’7.5″, Weight: 195 lbs, Wingspan: 6’10.5″
talent: Dyson Daniels is one of the most dynamic open-court players in the draft class. He’s a strong athlete and an excellent passer who makes him a lot of fun to play with in transition by running to the rim and passing ahead. While he’s not a shooter right now, he makes up for it with excellent touch around the rim and a strong float game. He’s a great defender with great potential both on and off the court. Most mock drafts have him in the top 10 and close to the top five.
Suitable for: Combining talent and health, the Nuggets probably don’t have a better prospect than Daniels. He has some Lonzo Ball in the game and plans to be an elite connector that the Nuggets desperately need. He won’t be used by the Nuggets unless they make a trade, but he’s a prospect worth betting on.
Eason Chan | Forward | Louisiana State University
Draft Age: 21, Height: 6’8″, Weight: 217 lbs, Wingspan: 7’2″
talent: Tari Eason looks like a basketball player built in a lab. With great measurability and physicality, Eason will be ready to contribute on the defensive end of Day 1. He’s an excellent transition defender with quick-twitch athleticism and long arms to collect steals and blocks. He’s a huge transition threat and his half-court offense is developing, albeit definitely behind the eight. Eason will likely be drafted outside the lottery, but inside the top 20, just before the Nuggets get drafted.
Suitable for: Ethan is not a wing like a forward, and unless he becomes more reliable as a ball-handler, he will likely be playing at power forward most of the time. So the Denver fit isn’t perfect. He’s likely to start the season behind the foursome of Michael Porter, Aaron Gordon, Zeke Nagy and Jeff Green in the rotation. Still, he’s talented and impactful enough as a defender that the Nuggets could consider drafting and developing him slowly.
Jaylen Williams | Wing | Santa Clara
Draft Age: 21, Height: 6’5.75″, Weight: 209 lbs, Wingspan: 7’2″
talent: As a wing player in the NBA, there seems to be nothing Jalen Williams can’t do. He’s an excellent scorer, playmaker, backer, rebounder and defender. He may not have the best skills in those categories, but he’s proficient in all of them, which makes him attractive as a versatile prospect. Williams should be able to adapt to what the team needs of him in different lineup combinations. He’s expected to be drafted out of the lottery, but likely won’t make it to the Nuggets at 21.
Suitable for: Williams may not be a starter on Day 1, but he’s one the Nuggets can look forward to picking up quickly and making the rotation sooner rather than later. Whether playing small ball at shooting guard, small forward, or even power forward, Williams can fit into the role the Nuggets need him to play, and his potential is much more than that. He might be the best prospect the Nuggets can actually draft without making a trade.
Marjon Beauchamp | Wing | G League Ignite
Draft Age: 21, Height: 6’6.5″, Weight: 197 lbs, Wingspan: 7’0.75″
talent: MarJon Beauchamp has more talent as a scorer and playmaker than he’s shown in G League Ignite. He was asked to play a complementary role next to Jaden Hardy and Dyson Daniels, and he excelled in everything but outside shooting. Beauchamp is impactful as Ignite’s cutter, transition threat and defender, and there’s no reason he can’t do the same at the NBA level.also shot look better.
Suitable for: Beauchamp spoke to Nuggets Media about wanting to fill a role and have an impact on the defensive end, which is exactly what the Nuggets are looking for. His size, athleticism and defense will greatly support Denver’s wing lineup. While the Nuggets may want better shooters, defense is paramount because Denver already has offensive talent. If Beauchamp is up to the role, then at 21, he’s a perfect fit.
Ochai Agbagi | Wing | Kansas
Draft Age: 22, Height: 6’5.75″, Weight: 218 lbs, Wingspan: 6’10.25″
talent: After Ochai Agbaji’s senior season where he won the Big-12 Player of the Year and the Kansas State National Championship, his talent as a 3&D wing was evident. With some pogo stick athleticism, quality scoring instincts and a willingness to do role player things, Agbaji is a relatively easy path to becoming a good player. As long as he shoots well, teams will want his defensive skills to be around him. Agbaji is currently predicted to be a fringe lottery pick.
Suitable for: Agbaji could have a role in the NBA rotation almost immediately. He’s a plug-and-play wing who will come off the bench in Denver, but certainly has the ability to start in the regular season. Agbaji’s problems are mainly related to the ceiling. Can he be a competent starter in his prime? Will Denver’s fit be good enough to eliminate these issues? It’s an opportunity the Nuggets might be happy to embrace.
Darren Terry | Wing | Arizona
Draft Age: 19, Height: 6’7.25″, Weight: 195 lbs, Wingspan: 7’0.75″
talent: Darren Terry is a lot like Andre Iguodala in that he’s good at everything on the court except scoring well off the dribble. It’s difficult to teach his defensive playmaking skills given that he takes full advantage of his over 7-foot wingspan. Score-seeking teams probably shouldn’t be looking the way Terry does, but for teams that need a high-level role player as a defender and playmaker, Darren Terry is the man.
Suitable for: Considering the Nuggets have Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter and Burns Hyland, Terry’s lack of scoring isn’t really a big deal. However, his defense and playmaking are definitely a good fit for Denver. The only question is his age at 19, and whether Michael Malone will believe he can perform well in a high-level playoff series. He’s probably still a year or two away, and honestly, that’s probably not bad.
Wendellmore Jr. | Wing | Duke
Draft Age: 20, Height: 6’5.5″, Weight: 217 lbs, Wingspan: 7’0.5″
talent: Wendell Moore was a top-25 recruit heading to Duke for the 2019-20 season. After three years of planning, he began to become an all-around shooting guard. Moore can do anything. He’s a good passer, a good defender, shot 40 percent from 3-point range as a junior, and is athletic enough to go with the top dogs. Most see him as a fringe first-round talent. I wonder why his rating is not close to Ochai Agbaji.
Suitable for: Moore would be a great fit for Denver’s wing rotation. He’s a connector that will remind many of Gary Harris, albeit maybe a little bigger. He makes the right reading, plays versatile, and fills the void wherever the team needs him. The Nuggets can take advantage of this skill. Maybe Moore won’t be a long-term starter at shooting guard, but if he averages 20 to 25 minutes per game in the playoff rotation, that’s fine.
Christian Braun | Wing | Kansas
Draft Age: 21, Height: 6’7″, Weight: 209 lbs, Wingspan: 6’6.5″
talent: Christian Braun and Wendell Moore have very similar games. Braun played a supporting role at Kansas, while Agbagi was the leading scorer. That has opened up a niche for Braun as a secondary playmaker, supplemental scorer and physical defender. Braun is doing well in Kansas and the competition is fierce. He’s also a strong athlete, although his negative wingspan and low ceiling put him at a disadvantage at the end of the first round.
Suitable for: If the Nuggets are looking for a rotation player on the wing, Braun is a good fit. He’ll take on some of the more difficult defensive tasks off the bench and be a great addition next to Jamal Murray, Burns Hyland and others. Braun may also have the ability to play sooner or later, which is sure to appeal to the Nuggets.
Christian Koloko | Major | Arizona
Draft Age: 22, Height: 7’0″, Weight: 221 lbs, Wingspan: 7’5.25″
talent: Christian Koloko struggled to find his footing in Arizona during his first two seasons before becoming a Pac-12 DPOY and Pac-12 MIP in his junior season. Koloko has improved on offense as a pick-and-roll option and a finisher near the rim. The biggest jump is on the defensive end, though, as Koloko has proven he can protect the rim while remaining mobile enough to switch between guards and forwards at will. If he can do that at the next level, Koloko will be a starting-caliber big man for a long time.
Suitable for: Koloko is the only true big man on this list, and that’s because he’s mobile enough that he might slide to power forward and play next to Jokic in some lineups. It’s a unique look the Nuggets haven’t tried since Mason Plumlee left, but Koloko could be a unique addition in that regard. Even if he can’t, the Nuggets will have their athletic backup center now and in the future.
David Roddy | Forward | Colorado State University
Draft Age: 21, Height: 6’6″, Weight: 261 lbs, Wingspan: 6’11.5″
talent: Roddy figured out how to be the best version of himself during his junior year at CSU. He hits spot-up jumpers, attacks finishers with great touch and footwork, and uses his size to punish opponents in the paint. He’s a great passer and looks like a great shooter, although his size is certainly unconventional. Some players of similar size and skill have figured this out, though, and maybe Roddy is the next big short forward who can make a difference.
Suitable for: Denver’s fit is somewhat influenced by his being a Colorado native, but Roddy is a smart player and uses his basketball IQ well. His passing, cutting and switching are great for the Nuggets, and while he may not see minutes right away, if Aaron Gordon gets hurt, the Nuggets can definitely use a player like him.