Tuesday night the Nuggets held a mock draft for season ticket holders at the Pepsi Center. With all 30 teams represented by tables of season ticket holders, ticket sales reps, and Altitude media talents the “teams” got busy with hopes to make trades to try to improve their respective rosters, and make as many draft picks as possible.
Each table was equipped with their respective team’s roster and salary sheets, a draft guide, list of prospects, and rosters of each team in the league. Before Chris Dempsey could kick the draft off as mock commissioner teams were already getting busy with trade negotiations.
Attending with a friend, we were assigned the Indiana Pacers with the 23rd pick in the draft. In the spirit of the evening our table tried to think of trades for a higher pick or to acquire another guard to pair with Victor Oladipo. We talked with Bill Hanzlik and the Portland Trail Blazers about the possibility of a C.J. McCollum deal. We reached out to the Spurs about Kawhi and ultimately were able to settle on a Kemba Walker deal with Charlotte in which we gave up the 23rd pick and players.
So the fun wouldn’t stop, we were determined to trade back into the first round to be able to make a pick. By this time at least half of the first round picks had already been traded. Washington at 15th was one that had not. After trading John Wall for a contingent of young Milwaukee Bucks players, the Wizards were not initially interested in listening to offers. Myles Turner was enough to turn the needle as we acquired Marcin Gortat and the 15th overall pick.
Now with a pick, we quickly turned our attention to players on the board. Mikal and Miles Bridges were our two targets. Fortunately, we were able to select Miles Bridges to fill out our need as a 3/4 prospect. Giving us a starting five of Kemba Walker, Victor Oladipo, Miles Bridges, Thad Young, and Marcin Gortat.
All of that was just our process. With all but four picks traded at least once you can imagine how active the rest of the evening was. Scott Hastings and the Suns made the number one pick available and traded it to Memphis who selected Luka Doncic number one overall. The Cleveland Cavaliers traded up to the second pick in a three team deal that sent LeBron James to Philadelphia and landed the Cavaliers DeAndre Ayton. One of the only picks that wasn’t traded was Atlanta’s third overall selection of Mo Bamba.
Trades! Trades! Trades!
We're just halfway through tonight's mock draft and already 23 of the 30 first round picks have been traded. pic.twitter.com/cL8mNNwY0s
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) June 20, 2018
From there just about everything was the result of a trade, which kept Chris Dempsey extremely busy at the mic. It was difficult to keep up with all the action going on around the “league” but there were some notable names that were hard to miss being traded. Kevin Love and Kyle Korver were traded from the Cavaliers. Kawhi found a home in Boston in exchange for Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown. C.J. McCollum ended up being traded straight up for the rights to Trae Young. Lonzo Ball was shipped to Brooklyn as part of a larger deal. Surprisingly, rumor has it that Kim Kardashian was even part of the negotiations at this mock draft.
After 1,205,277 trades we've reached the conclusion of tonight's season ticket member mock draft!
What do you think, Twitter GMs? pic.twitter.com/5dXetcsF6Q
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) June 20, 2018
Now, what really matters is what the season ticket holders ended up doing with the Nuggets draft situation. Yes, they were able to get rid of Kenneth Faried’s contract through a trade that actually moved them up to the 10th pick. The Nuggets used the 10th pick to select Kevin Knox out of Kentucky. From there, things were quiet on the Nuggets trade front until after the final pick was made.
After announcing the 30th pick in the draft, (Chandler Hutchinson selected by the Brooklyn Nets via trade with the Atlanta Hawks) Dempsey had one last trade to announce. The Nuggets traded Mason Plumlee, Wilson Chandler, Darrell Arthur, the rights to Kevin Knox, and a 2019 1st rounder to the Philadelphia 76ers. For none other than LeBron James.
The night was great fun for all involved. With the draft board and trades likely not going to be accurate. Still, it was interesting to get a sense of what some of the fans perspectives and values are for the NBA Draft on Thursday night.