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With Jokic deal, drafting of Porter, Denver Nuggets trending again

June 25, 2018, 12:49 pm
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Denver Nuggets’ first-round draft pick Michael Porter Jr., with Rennick Williams, left, and Ryan Nelson (Kyle Nelson photo).

As the Colorado Rockies circle the train with their annual June Swoon (this one sparked by a somewhat surprising pitching meltdown), it’s hard not to look ahead to next fall and the return to action of the most exciting pro sports team in Colorado … the Denver Nuggets.

Got you there, didn’t I. Thought I was going to say, “the Denver Broncos”.

The O Zone by David O. Williams

The O. Zone
by David O. Williams

And while I am pretty stoked to see how our surprise (as in, surprise that he was still there) No. 5 draft pick Bradley Chubb will team with Von Miller to once again make Denver’s D the most feared in the AFC, it’s hard to get too pumped for an offense led by Case Keenum — even if he is coming off a career year with the Minnesota Vikings.

That brings me back to the Nuggets — a team that hasn’t really been relevant since the days of Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and George Karl. And even then, they were perennial first-round flameouts.

It’s really been since the Dan Issel, Alex English, Kiki Vandeweghe Western Conference Finals days of the 80s (apologies to the 90’s Dikembe Mutombo squads and their first-round upset of Seattle) that the Nuggets have significantly factored into the playoff picture.

Last season they came close – missing out in the final game of the season against the Timberwolves. Nearly 50 wins and the Nuggets still couldn’t get into the postseason, but they were highly entertaining in the process. Anchored by Nikola Jokic and supported by a deep and talented team made up of Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Paul Millsap and others.

Now comes word from Yahoo Sports that Jokic will likely ink a five-year deal with the Nuggets to the tune of $146.5 million. That should give Nuggets’ fans hope that the team is trending toward sustained relevancy:

This follows last week’s shocking draft news that saw former top prospect Michael Porter Jr. falling to the Nuggets at No. 14 after an injury-plagued single season at the University of Missouri.

My family ran into @MPJr at Linger in Denver on Saturday, with several other Nuggets dining at a different table as Porter Jr. and his family ate elsewhere in the restaurant. A very accommodating young Porter posed for pictures with my son and his cousin:

If he can return to health and learn the rigors of the NBA game, Porter could be a superstar in the making — and the missing piece that puts the Nuggets over the top. If nothing else, he’s well on his way to ingratiating himself with Denver fans, especially with his t-shirt shoutout to our hoops past (that’s the ABA’s Denver Rockets … not Houston). Very cool.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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