The Nuggets were complete failures in the NBA draft Thursday night.
Change the team name to Denver No-guts.
No guts, no glory.
After they teased Denver with the possibility of acquiring superstar Jimmy Butler from the Bulls, or ever star Eric Bledsoe from the Suns, the best the No-guts could come up with in a trade was Trey Lyles from the Jazz – by giving up the 13th overall pick.
Twin T's – Tyler and Trey. A couple of players I call "DiNoPs" In the NBA boxscores, there always is the category "Did Not Play -- Coach’s Decision."
There you have Trey and Tyler. A couple of big men who will sit at the end of the bench nightly, down among the people who buy those sideline seats.
Even the No-guts’ staunchest supporters among the fawning media websites and on TV, and the fanatical followers, couldn’t justify or love these three picks the No-guts made. Time to mention Vlatko Cancar, from Slovenia, and Monte Morris, who might be even be farther away from Denver than Slovenia.
Morris is a point guard, as if the Nuggets need one more young point guard. And the best that can be said by draft experts about him was: "Underrated. Might make a backup in the league." Not much could be said about Cancar other than he’s a small forward. Cancar play in The Can? Doubtful.
And here’s what one prominent authority offered about Lyndon: "Probably won’t be in the league in four years."
And I’m grading on the curve to help the No-guts.
They had no guts to make the Butler trade happen. They had no guts to make the Bledsoe trade happen. They had no guts to trade up and get Lauri Markkanen, the best big man in the draft. He ended up with Chicago in the deal that send Butler to the Timberwolves.
Oh, let’s get to Minnesota and the rest of the NBA’s Western Conference. The Timberwolves, with the addition of Butler, wolfed their way past the Nuggets. And the Jazz got Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell in the Nuggets deal, and they’ll stay ahead of the Nuggets. Andonandon.
The Nuggets look further and further away from making the playoffs after Thursday night when you consider that every team ahead of them made better picks and got stronger, and every team behind them made better picks and got better.
Stuck in the middle. That’s an apt description of the Nuggets, who have buzzard’s luck. They can’t kill anything, and they can’t get anything to die.
And it even got worse when Chauncey Billups, the hometown hero, took a second interview to become head of basketball operations with the Cavaliers. All Chauncey wanted was to become general manager, or executive vice president of the Nuggets. It even was said that Chauncey might not take the Cavs job because he and his family love living in the state where he grew up and played in high school, college and the pros.
Instead of luring Chauncey back to the franchise, Stan and Josh Kroenke promoted two guys who keep reaching out to the postseason and keep pulling back a nub.
If Plan A was trading for Butler and Plan B was obtaining Bledsoe, the No-guts, No-glory Nuggets ended up with Plan F – Failure.
How many Nuggets’ executives does it take to do a deal? Apparently, they don’t have enough.
The Nuggets held workouts for more than 20 players, and they didn’t draft one of them.
They could have draft Colorado’s own Derrick White, who grew up idolizing Billups and wants to be like him in the pros after playing at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado Boulder.
He will play with the Spurs, who, as the life insurance company claims in commercials, "know a thing or two" about good young players.
Most of the signs pointed to the Nuggets, at No. 13, selecting Indiana forward OG Anunoby, who had slipped because of a torn ACL in his right leg last season. He’s a defensive whiz who could help the Nuggets, who have no defense. Guess what? Anunoby dropped in the draft into the 20s, and in the one pick before the Nuggets (post Jazz trade), he was chosen by the Raptors and general manager Masai Ujiri. It was termed a brilliant pick. Ujiri, of course, quit the Nuggets as GM when they wouldn’t ante up. His Raptors annually go to the playoffs while the Nuggets and their GM watch them on TV.
There’s only one thing that can save the Nuggets’ disaster:
They must sign Paul Millsap, or persuade the Hawks to do a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets for the superstar power forward, who the Nuggets have salivating over for a year.
If not, the Denver No-guts will be twisting in the wind for another season after not feeling a draft.