When draft grades for the 2011 NBA Draft start making their way out on Friday, the Denver Nuggets should be receiving one of the highest grades of all 30 teams. Let's break down what they did this year.
Pick No. 22: After months of speculation, the Nuggets picked up Morehead St. Eagles forward Kenneth Faried. He can be a starter at the 4 from Day 1 and make Kenyon Martin's expected departure acceptable. The Portland Trail Blazers could have had him one pick earlier at No. 21, but they went with Duke guard Nolan Smith.
Trade with Portland Trail Blazers: This could have been bad news if the Nuggets and the Blazers had decided to swap picks, but it didn't turn out that way. Instead, the teams swapped point guards Raymond Felton and Andre Miller. In addition, the Trail Blazers sent Rudy Fernanded to the Dallas Mavericks for the rights of No. 26 overall selection, Jordan Hamilton. The Blazers turned those right around and sent them to the Nuggets along with a future second-round pick.
Overall, this was an excellent job. The Nuggets now have a legitimate power forward who will be on the court to rebound and rebound all the time. Hamilton is a young scorer who will replace J.R. Smith. The Nuggets do plan on keeping Miller, which will affect Ty Lawson, but no one knows to what extent right now.