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News » Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-06-30

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-06-30

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-06-30
The Nuggets took a gamble. Then again, they don't see it that way.

On draft night, the Nuggets traded a first-round pick that originally belonged to Charlotte for the rights to point guard Ty Lawson from North Carolina. Lawson had been selected with the No. 18 pick in the first round by Minnesota.

The reason the deal is a gamble is the pick the Nuggets dealt could end up being No. 1 in the 2014 draft if the Bobcats have little success in the next half decade. The pick has a series of protections that go down each year.

But the Nuggets had Lawson pegged as one of the top point guards in the draft. They believed he was too good to pass up.

"I'm very happy," said Nuggets coach George Karl, who took over in January 2005. "From the assets we've had, it's the best draft we've had since I've been here."

Karl hopes Lawson, 21, can effectively spell Denver's older point guards. Starter Chauncey Billups turns 33 in September. Backup Anthony Carter, an unrestricted free agent the Nuggets hope to re-sign, is 34.

Karl, a North Carolina alum, wore a Tar Heels hat after the trade was announced. Lawson is happy about joining the Nuggets.

"I'm real excited. I went there last year and worked out and so I was hoping I'd get picked by them," said Lawson, who eventually pulled his name out of the draft after his sophomore season before entering it after his junior year with a NCAA title now on his resume. "I was watching the playoffs, how they almost made it to the Finals... I'm real excited to play with Chauncey Billups and just play in the system. Coach Karl, he's a UNC alumni, so I'm just real excited to be there."

In the short term, it looks like a good move for the Nuggets. But it remains to be seen how Lawson will pan out and what will happen with the draft pick that once belonged to the Bobcats.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: June 30, 2009


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