The Utah Jazz drafted Erick Green as the 46th overall pick, and then traded him to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.
While Green didn’t go in the first round, he was the highest pick Tech has had since Bimbo Coles went 40th in the 1990 draft. He is the first ACC Player of the Year not to be drafted in the first round since 2000.
Denver is a young team that had a great regular season with 57 games, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Golden State Warriors.
Brain Shaw will be the new head coach for the Nuggets next season. Shaw is replacing the NBA Coach of the Year George Karl. Shaw worked under Phil Jackson and known for his ability to help players develop.
Green worked out with Denver before the draft and the team clearly liked what they saw. Despite the rumors that the Spurs were going to take him the first round, Green wasn’t picked until the middle of the second round.
Even thought he didn’t go as quickly as he hoped, Green is happy to be headed to Denver.
“So happy right now dreams come true. Glad to be heading to Denver,” he tweeted.
The Nuggets are the league’s highest scoring team, which will be a good fit for the nation’s leading scorer. Denver looks to embrace Green’s ability to score and not limit him to the role of a traditional point guard. They are even thinking of having him play some shooting guard.
“I think the idea of a true point guard is a dying theme in our league,” Tim Connelly, the Nuggets’ general manager said in a post draft press conference. “I think he (Green) is certainly able to play both positions. His scoring is what stands out to me, and I think we have to embrace that part of his game.”
While Denver was the highest scoring team last year, they ranked 25th in three point accuracy. Green should be able to help with that.
“We had a clear deficiency last year in shooting,” Connelly told the Associated Press. “He certainly checks that box."
Green will have to work his way up the depth charts to get playing time. As of right now, Green will be backing up Denver’s starting point guard Ty Lawson along with veteran point guard Andre Miller and the undrafted third string point guard Julyan Stone. Green could also play shooting guard. The Nuggets’ starting shooting guard is now Frenchman Evan Foyrnier. The other shooting guards, Corey Brewer and Quincy Miller, both also play small forward.