Though the Denver Nuggets have been outside of the NBA Draft lottery for eight straight years (2003, Carmelo Anthony, No. 3 overall), how well has the team done when it has been there. For arbitrariness, we'll limit this to selections since 1994, the year the current lottery system was implemented (1,000 chances divided unequally among the teams). But we'll throw in selections that were made by other teams, but immediately traded to the Nuggets.
1994: No lottery selection
1995: No lottery selection, but traded for Antonio McDyess, No. 2 overall pick
1996: No lottery selection
1997: Tony Battie, No. 5 overall
1998: Raef LaFrentz, No. 3 overall, traded for No. 13 Keon Clark
1999-2001: No lottery selection
2002: Nikoloz Tskitishvili, No. 5 overall, traded for No. 7 overall Nene
2003: Carmelo Anthony, No. 3 overall
2004-2011: No lottery selection
As with most things over time, there was the good and there was the bad. Making a draft day trade of Rodney Rogers and Brent Barry for Antonio McDyess was a great move, but the teams never reached playoffs during McDyess' time with the Nuggets. Adding Tony Battie, Raef LaFrentz and Keon Clark never helped the equation.
While Skeeta turned into a big stiff, Nene in 2002 and Carmelo Anthony in 2003 helped turn around the Nuggets since then, most of the credit for that going to 'Melo. The question for the Nuggets now is if they'll be able to sustain that success without Carmelo Anthony and avoid selecting in the lottery (minus acquisition through trade) again.