Tim Connelly learned a few lessons during his first two NBA drafts as general manger of the Denver Nuggets.
“Some of the biggest screw ups that I’ve been involved with were drafting position,” Connelly told Altitude TV’s Vic Lombardi in the buildup to Thursday’s draft. “We drafted position and it made all the sense at the time, but we passed on two pretty special players. If we think we can get a dynamic player, regardless of position, I don’t think we’ll be tied to anything.”
Connelly and company were determined to let the 2016 NBA draft come to them. By doing so, they nabbed one of the drafts premier shooters in Kentucky guard Jamal Murray, and grabbed two additional prospects with the No. 15 and 19 overall selections who have the potential to make a monumental impact to the Nuggets’ roster in the near or foreseeable future.
“I want to come in and defend and shoot the ball,” Beasley said.
Getting drafted by an organization like the Nuggets, who already have a plethora of young talent could make a rookie like Beasley worry about the amount of playing time he’ll get in his first NBA season. He has no such fears.
“I just want to get better,” Beasley said. “I’m thankful for this opportunity, and whatever coach wants I’ll make sure I can do it for him. I’ve just got to make sure I put in a lot of hard work.”
Nor is Beasley worried about playing in Denver, a city some young NBA stars have considered stale or boring.
“It’s a great city,” Beasley said. “There’s lots going on and lots of good people. I hear a lot about it. So, I can’t wait. I’ve heard about the weather, too.”
Beasley’s likely to be slotted as the third or fourth guard on Denver’s roster, which will almost certainly limit his playing time in his rookie year.
His situation is complicated even more by a nagging stress fracture in his right leg. However, Beasley believes he’ll be ready when training camp kicks off.
“I am running,” Beasley said. “Mostly it’s just getting back in shape and moving slow. Just doing whatever coach wants me to do.”
Whether he contributes significant minutes or is used to contribute off the bench, Malik Beasley feels like Denver is the right place for him.
“Their staff is great alone,” Beasley said. “Tim Connelly and coach Malone, when I met with them at the combine, there was a great connection with all of them.”