NBA Draft: Nuggets, Warriors Discuss Trading No. 7, 5 Players Denver Could Take

Rich Kurtzman@@RichKurtzman Senior Analyst IJune 27, 2012

NBA Draft: Nuggets, Warriors Discuss Trading No. 7, 5 Players Denver Could Take

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    NBA insider Chris Broussard reported early Wednesday morning that the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors are in discussions that would send Wilson Chandler to Golden State and the No. 7 pick and Dorell Wright to Denver.

    He also mentioned that lots of teams are currently in contact with Denver, looking to land one of the Nuggets' young players, and that this was the first deal they told him about.

    If Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri does indeed land the deal, it shouldn't come as a surprise, as Ujiri has been arguably the best trade-executing front office executive in the NBA over the last year and a half.

    First, he orchestrated the Melo Megadeal, bringing in tons of talent to his team.

    Ujiri then turned around and traded Raymond Felton—who was a piece in the Megadeal—to Portland for Andre Miller, who was key to the Nuggets success this season and the Trailblazers' pick.

    That same draft night a year ago, he traded the Portland pick for Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer, who each impacted the team in their own ways as well.

    And just before the trade deadline last season, he pulled the trigger on the trade that sent Nene to the Wizards and brought in JaVale McGee.

    If anyone can pull off another huge trade, it's Ujiri, so let's explore which players he may be looking at taking at No. 7 if he can position his Nuggets to select that high.

Damian Lillard

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    Many draft experts have Lillard going No. 6 overall to the Trailblazers, yet some have him falling to No. 8.

    If he were available at No. 7, there's no way Ujiri could pass him up.

    Lillard's draft stock has soared in recent months after his wonderful workouts, which impressed scouts and the media alike.

    He's a superb scorer, putting up 24.5 points in his senior year, and a strong overall player with 5.1 rebounds and four assists per game for Weber State last season.

    With Andre Miller's status in the air, as he says he either wants to start or backup for a true contender, the Nuggets will need a backup point to Ty Lawson and Lillard would be an amazing addition.

Andre Drummond

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    Drummond has been called the biggest gamble of this year's draft, and someone will likely take him in the top 10.

    His 6'10", 270-pound size is perfect for the NBA, but with only one year of college basketball under his belt, can he contribute right away?

    The Nuggets are stacked with big men, including Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos, Chris Andersen, Al Harrington, JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried, meaning they're less likely to take Drummond at No. 7, but you can't count him out of the race.

Dion Waiters

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    If the Nuggets do pull off the trade, they'll need someone that can backup Arron Afflalo at the shooting guard position.

    That opens the door for Dion Waiters.

    The two guard improved in every aspect of his game from his freshman to sophomore year at Syracuse, a telling sign that he will only continue to become an all-around better basketball player in the near future.

    Waiters possesses a killer three-point shot (36.3 percent) and can fill up the hoop from the mid range and at the rim as well (12.6 points per). Plus, he can play a little point guard, which only adds to his value for Denver.

Jeremy Lamb

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    If the Nuggets don't go with Waiters, they could fill that backup shooting guard spot with Jeremy Lamb out of UConn.

    Lamb possesses good height at 6'5", and his 6'11" wingspan is phenomenal, though he'll have to bulk up to bang with bigger players at the next level.

    Lamb is a sweet scorer, at 17.7 points per game in his sophomore season, and he rebounds very well for a guard, with 4.9 per last year.

    He has a high basketball IQ, knowing when to attack the rim and when to pull up for a jumper.

    And Lamb's got a ton of upside, which is why Ujiri might grab him up at No. 7.

Austin Rivers

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    Austin Rivers is a superb shooter, hitting 43.3 percent of his field goals, and many come from away from the hoop.

    But he's not just a jump-shooter; Rivers is quick and can explode past opponents to get to the iron for layups.

    He scored 15.4 points per for Duke in his freshman year last season and will only improve.

    Rivers value to the Nuggets is that he could play either guard position, and they need depth at both, meaning he could find lots of playing time if Denver were to take him at No. 7.

    Some league executives believe Rivers could be a star one day in the NBA, and putting him in the backcourt with Ty Lawson would make a dynamic and difficult combination for opposing defenses to stop.