The Denver Nuggets have some work to do if they want to catch the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference next season, but the franchise has been building a solid foundation through the NBA Draft over the past several seasons. Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried look like terrific picks, so how does the draft resume look for the past five years?
SB Nation's Tom Ziller has taken the time to look back on NBA Draft picks from 2007-2010, and the Nuggets simply haven't had many chances to add a premium player in the first round. Re-grading prior drafts is exercise that is often overlooked, but it's well worth your time to go back and check out how other teams in the NBA have been building (or destroying) their future through the NBA Draft.
Here is a quick recap of the Nuggets' big pick and some analysis from Ziller:
Ty Lawson (No. 18 overall)
Perhaps the best point guard in the 2009 NBA Draft was Ty Lawson. Kahn's predecessor Kevin McHale had picked up the No. 18 from Miami in a previous trade involving Antoine Walker. (All of the best trades involve Antoine Walker.) Kahn had agreed to send the pick to the Denver Nuggets (a perennial playoff team) for a 2010 first. The 2009 pick became Lawson. The 2010 pick became Luke Babbitt, who was flipped to Portland for pre-mohawk Martell Webster. Picking Flynn was bad enough. But then trading Lawson for Martell Webster?
...Denver had a player it liked, gave up a comparable asset to get him, and reaped the rewards. Brilliant play here.
Here is the link to Ziller's breakdown of the 2010 NBA Draft, which includes links back to the other three drafts as well.