Denver Nuggets: Five Most Important Draft Decisions
With the people from L.A. picking up after looting and brawling, fans of all the other 29 teams are awaiting the 2009 NBA Draft.
Drafts have been so-so for the Denver Nuggets. Accordingly, it's time to take a look at history and learn what worked and what didn't work for the Denver Nuggets. Here are the five most important Denver draft-day decisions.
Nene and Marcus Camby Trade.
For awhile this trade--in which Antonio McDyess and the rights to Frank Williams were traded to the Knicks for Marcus Camby and the rights to Brazilian forward Nene--looked like it was going to become a huge bust.
Nene spent his first five seasons battling everything from an ACL tear to testicular cancer while Camby blocked shots and took terrible jumpers from the top of the key.
Camby managed to win Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and Nene finished this season in the top five in field goal percentage.
Go White Boy
Players who were still on the board when the Nuggets drafted Raef Lafrentz with the third overall pick in the 1998 draft included Antawn Jaminson, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce.
I guess they were enticed by how he used his elbows.
Enter the Finger
In 1990, with the fourth overall pick, the Nuggets drafted "He of the Mighty Finger" out of the Congo via Georgetown.
Although his age was shrouded in ambiguity, Mutombo quickly became dominant in the paint and led the Nuggets, an eight-seed, to a first-round victory over the top-seeded Seattle Supersonics, who were coached by George Karl and led by nymphomaniac Shawn Kemp.
The image of Mutombo lying on the floor, yelling in joy, would be the last good thing to happen to the franchise for a decade.
A three-time All-American at North Carolina State, David Thompson was the truth in sneakers when he declared for the draft in 1975. Drafted by the Hawks in the NBA and the Virginia Colonials in the ABA, the Nuggets traded three players, including All-ABA guard Mack Calvin to get The Skywalker. He was good enough to allow the Nuggets to flourish, facilitating their inclusion into the NBA in 1976.
A dunking legend, he finished second to Dr. J in the inaugural Slam-Dunk competition. Unfortunately, after getting paid, he started to booze and snort a lot of cocaine, which coupled with injuries, grounded the Skywalker.
Impossible to guard, and, as the picture indicates, the biggest thug in the NBA, but in a good way , like a I-don't-take-weed-onto-planes-anymore kind of way.
A national champion in his only year at Syracuse, Denver made him the third overall pick in 2003, and he promptly led them to the playoffs for the first time since 1995, where they lost to Minnesota. When he's not advocating the elimination of snitchin', he's leading the league in scoring and trying to convince everyone that he's as good as D-Wade and LeBron.
Which he is.