It sure does stink writing about the Denver Nuggets’ draft in April, especially when I’m so used to watching playoff hoops in Denver this time of year. I was not expecting lottery dreams to replace second round playoff dreams this soon.
Luckily, the lottery and draft are exciting too. It’s a fresh feeling. It’s a feeling I don’t really remember because I was 12 years old when Carmelo Anthony was drafted. It doesn’t feel as good as the playoffs, but the draft is something Nuggets fans be excited about.
The lottery itself will create a lot of excitement. There’s only a 1.5 percent chance that the Nuggets end up with a top three pick, but there’s also only a 2.6 percent chance the roulette ball will land on 33 and I still frequently bet on it.
The Nuggets are currently picking 11th in the draft, and a team with the 11th or lower pick in the draft has only moved into a top three pick twice since 1990. So I’m not exactly betting the house on the Nuggets getting lucky. In fact, the 1.5 percent lotto odds come only AFTER combining the Nuggets and Knicks chances to get a top three pick, because they own the better of the two picks.
However, NBA lotto history says I shouldn’t give up all hope. In 2008, the Chicago Bulls only had a 1.7 percent chance when they landed Derrick Rose at No. 1. The Orlando Magic landed Chris Webber in 1993 at No. 1 after only having a 1.5 percent chance.
Denver Nuggets fans shouldn’t be greedy though! I’d be perfectly happy with the third pick, and I’m sure Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly would be too. Adding ANY of the super talented rookies to this roster would be a huge boost to an already talented team.
The Nuggets are in a unique position where they don’t absolutely need a surefire “LeBron James” in this draft (although that’d be just fine) to change the franchise. No matter who is drafted, the Nuggets will be led by their two emerging stars Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried.
The two stars already are supported by good role players in Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Randy Foye, not to mention Nate Robinson, Evan Fournier and Timofey Mozgov leading a very solid bench. The Nuggets just need to add a couple pieces to the puzzle in order to be someone to reckon with in the Western Conference.
Aren’t we due for a little luck anyways? This franchise has been unlucky for decades. It’s been bad in recent years with the Nuggets losing Melo, losing Andre Iguodala, losing Masai Ujiri, and going through arguably the worst injury-prone season they’ve ever had in 2013-2014.
The Nuggets have a 98.5 percent chance of losing out on a top three pick in the draft lottery. However, that meager 1.5 percent is just enough to have me watching the lotto like a housewife watches her mail for that last Publishers Clearing House letter. It’s just enough to have this Nuggets fan dreaming about the last piece to the puzzle that looks a lot like the Larry O’Brien trophy.