NBA champion Nuggets trade into first round

Published 7:23 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

DENVER (AP) — The NBA-champion Denver Nuggets traded into the first round of the draft by acquiring the 29th overall pick from the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said.

As part of the deal, the Nuggets will also receive the 32nd pick from the Pacers in Thursday night’s draft. Indiana receives the 40th pick from Denver along with a first-round selection in 2024, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade of picks hasn’t been announced.

Denver is trying to sprinkle in an assortment of players around its nucleus of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon. Denver struck gold with Christian Braun when the team took the high-energy player out of Kansas last summer at No. 21. Braun turned in valuable minutes off the bench during the Nuggets’ run to the franchise’s first championship.

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They also have a 20-year-old shooting guard in Peyton Watson who could get more minutes next season. He was acquired in a draft-night deal with Oklahoma City last June.