It’s draft night. June 22nd, 2017 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Relatively unknown to NBA fans, Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell was backstage hoping to hear his name called within the first 15 picks.
The electric guard from New York averaged 15 points per game in addition to grabbing just under 5 boards per game. Mitchell was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 13th overall pick – although, little did he know, it wasn’t the Nuggets at the time who were particularly keen and had eyes on him.
The Utah Jazz had been eyeing Donovan Mitchell since his pre-draft workout in Utah, where even Josh Hart has stated on his podcast, “Donovan destroyed me that workout.” Denver received former University of Kentucky big man Trey Lyles, in addition to the 24th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft – Tyler Lydon, the former product from Syracuse.
But what if the Denver Nuggets decided to keep Donovan Mitchell? Assuming the same moves are made going forward minus the additions of Trey Lyles and Tyler Lydon – the Denver Nuggets would be possibly one of the best teams in depth still in the NBA. Jamal Murray, Donovan Mitchell, Paul Millsap, Michael Porter Junior and Nikola Jokic.
That would have been an amazing team to watch live. Not to mention the rest of the above average caliber players the Nuggets have in their second unit. It’d be likely that the combination between Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray would have been awfully similar to the likes of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and their ability to perform in Portland. It’s great fun to think of all of these what if situations and there are endless scenarios to them in the NBA.