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Nuggets Make Big Moves During NBA Draft

Denver Nuggets court

The Denver Nuggets entered the 2020 NBA Draft with the No. 22 overall pick in the first round.

Before the night was through, the team had made another first-round selection and also agreed to a two-way contract with one of the best players in college basketball a season ago.

With the 22nd pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Nuggets selected center Zeke Nnaji out of the University of Arizona. Nnaji is 6-11 and weighs 240 points, and could become a force on both ends of the court for the Nuggets.

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Denver was looking for a post player that could contribute almost immediately, and they were left with very few options at pick 22. Still, the Nuggets chose Nnaji, and he should provide some much-needed depth at that position and has the chance to be a real star in the league.

It appeared that the selection of Nnaji would be the only pick of the night for the Nuggets, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. Denver was able to trade back into the first round, and it was back on the clock at pick 24.

With this selection, the Nuggets took guard RJ Hampton, who many believed was going to be a lottery pick before the night began. Hampton chose to skip playing college basketball to begin his professional career in Australia.

At one time, Hampton was considered one of the top players in his class, and the 6-5 guard is one of the most explosive players in the 2020 Draft class. Hampton still has some work to do before he is ready to step in and be a star in Denver, but the Nuggets have a great player-development program.

Overall, this was a solid 2020 NBA Draft for a team that advanced to the Western Conference Finals just a couple of months ago.

Team Signs Howard

Almost immediately after the conclusion of the 2020 NBA Draft, it was reported that the Nuggets had reached a two-way agreement with guard Markus Howard. Howard was a standout while playing at Marquette University and is one of the best scorers in this draft class.

As a senior, Howard led the nation with 27.8 points per game average and left Marquette as the all-time leading scorer at that school. Howard shot nearly 42 percent from the three-point line, and he has an unlimited range that should translate well in the NBA.

The deal cannot be completed until free agency officially starts, but both sides have agreed in principle to a deal. It’s unlikely that Howard will see any significant playing time with the Nuggets during the upcoming season, but he is a solid piece to add to the roster.

Howard is just 5-11, and his size was the biggest reason he went undrafted on draft night. If the Nuggets suffer a number of injuries again this season, then Howard will be the type of player that can step in and provide some offense when it is needed.

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