Welcome to the 66th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m opting out of the final year of my blogging contract and becoming a free agent. Lots to get to this week. Let’s get into it…
I make fun of and generally dislike the NFL draft for a handful of legitimate reasons, but I’m always interested in the NBA draft. The differences between the two are simple. We aren’t bludgened with 12 months of coverage prior to the NBA draft. There are only two rounds of the NBA draft. The NBA draft isn’t in prime time during other sports’ playoffs. And because basektball only requires five players in a starting lineup, we’re much more familiar with all of the players that’ll get drafted into the NBA. (Don’t act like you watched that linebacker from Buffalo for more than a couple minutes in his career, because you did not.)
Anyway the Nuggets have their first lottery pick since 2003 and they can’t really afford to miss. So who should the Thuggets* select Thursday night with the 11th overall pick?
*I know they’re no longer called the Thuggets, I just miss that awesome nickname.
The guy I have my sights set on is Michigan shophomore guard and Big Ten Player of the Year, Nik Stauskas. A healthy Nuggets team has a need for a shooting guard more than any other position and Stauskas would compliment the roster perfectly.
The Nuggets have needed a shooter for years. Danilo Galinari (even when healthy) never turned into much of a deep threat and nobody would be thrilled with another year of servicable veteran Randy Foye in that role. Having someone that can spread the floor would open things up for an aggressive Ty Lawson to drive to the cup, which is his best asset.
Stuaskas is considered the best shooter in this draft class. Dude is a sniper. He was a 44 percent three-point shooter in his two years at Michigan. But he’s also much more athletic than most college basketball fans realize and at 6-6 he’s bigger than a lot of your standard long range shooters. This is a guy that can put the ball on the floor and create offense. I think he profiles as way more than a Kyle Korver or J.J. Reddick.
So will he be available for the Nuggets with the 11th pick?
So the answer to that question is, Maybe. Ideally if the Nuggets want Stauskas, they can sit back and wait for him to fall to them at 11. Or they might need to get creative and trade up a couple spots if they’re hearing New Orleans or Philadelphia is interested.
The other players that figure to be in the Nuggets range are, among others, Gary Harris Jr, a tough, defensive minded guard from Michigan State; Doug McDermott, an underrated player in college who might lack a lot defensively but should be able to score in the NBA; and Dario Saric, some foreign guy nobody knows anything about.
I would also be in favor of the Nuggets trading some of their current pieces and moving into the top five, but that seems unlikely.
Either way, the Nuggets are in a good position to improve (and move from the back of the middle of the pack to the middle of the middle of the pack. YAY!). A lot of different things could happen between now and the draft, but I’m hoping the Nuggets grab Nik Stauskas.
And a quick sidenote on Kevin Love… The Nuggets have been brought up in trade rumors for the stud big man who wants out of Minnesota and is entering the final year of his contract. I like that the Nuggets are active and creative with the situation because having Love next season would make the Nuggets a much better team, regardless of who they give up to get him (within reason). But I put the chances of Love re-signing with Nuggets after next season at about 1 percent.
So the situation would look like this: Give up a handful of talented young players and draft picks. Sign Kevin Love for one season. Lose Kevin Love and get nothing in return. Become one of the five worst teams in the NBA. Get a top-5 lottery pick. Draft a future superstar. Become good again.
Sounds okay to me.
(For the record I don’t think any of this is going to happen.)
Douche of the week:
I just… I don’t know. Here are your 2014 Colorado Rockies. Whatever.
Tweet of the week:
Just patting myself on the back a bit here. I tweeted this after the second inning of Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter, which turned out to be one of the most dominant performances in the history of baseball. (It had a game score of 102, the 2nd highest ever.)
It was really amazing and incredible and great and stuff, but the national media folks have all neglected to mention that the vaunted Rockies’ offense (Ha!) featured a lineup that was without Carlos Gonzales, Michael Cuddyer, Nolan Arenado, Justin Morneau and Charlie Blackmon. The latter two were the manager’s decision, but those are five of the best six or seven hitters on the roster.
*Also: How can anyone call themselves a Rockies fan and be rooting for Kershaw to complete the No-No? That’s, like, the dumbest thing ever.
Stud of the week:
The Milwaukee Brewers swept the Rockies this weekend, which wasn’t very nice. But they also created a spoof “attack ad” urging people to vote for their catcher Jonathan Lucroy over the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina to start in the All Star Game.
It’s pretty darn good. I can’t embed MLB.com videos on this site (and for some reason they’re not allowing it on YouTube) so you have to click here to watch. Anyway, anything that trolls the insufferable Cardinals masses is awesome by me. Props to the Brewers media people behind this one.
And it would be super awesome if this catapulted Lucroy up the All Star voting standings and he actually got the start over Molina, which he actually deserves this year anyway. They earned my vote!
Picture(s) of the Week:
Michelle Wie won the US Open and I’m only mentioning that because I think it’s a significant moment for the LPGA.
According to Wie, ‘It takes 21 1/2 beers to fill up the U.S. Open trophy”.
I wholeheartedly support everything about that picture and that quote.
Vine of the week:
This happened today. It’s a soccer player running up behind another soccer player and biting the shit out of his shoulder and then flailing around like the other player’s shoulder just slammed into his innocent teeth. I can’t believe y’all watch this stuff.
What a joke.
A couple links worth sharing:
- Perhaps my favorite thing I’ve read this year: “I was Tony Gwynn’s Bat Boy.” Please read this one. (As well as the long comment on the end of it.)
- Yahoo! Sports tracked down that happy Rough Rider down there and produced a solid interview. He seems surprisingly normal. (He’s also a runner-up for Stud of the Week honors.)
- A raccoon got her head stuck in a peanut butter jar and then got stuck on top of a telephone pole. This is an important story.
- I loved this news report on the way Pittsburgh handled a Luke Bryan concert. (Not particularly well.)
- Yet another CSU football or basketball player is unexpectedly leaving the school, this time a very important piece of the men’s basketball team in Jon Octeus. So to recap: Kapri Bibbs left for the NFL draft, Donnell Alexander transferred for some strange secret reasons, Chane Behannan changed his mind after enrolling, Dwight Smith transferred to freaking Northern Colorado, and Marcus Holt and David Cohn also bailed. That’s all pretty weird.
And some other stuff the internet had to offer from the past week:
Johnny Cueto is having a really good year. But he’s a pitcher, so he should probably just accept it when he strikes out.
Greg Popovich having fun and being a little cocky? Greg Popovich having fun and being a little cocky.
And finally, here’s what appears to be a really fun motorcycle crash!
Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week.
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