Denver Nuggets steal the 2018 NBA Draft
NBA/YouTube

The Denver Nuggets might not have had the volume of picks of some other NBA teams, but they made the most with the one that truly counted.

With the No. 14 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Nuggets selected Michael Porter Jr.–once thought of as a top-3 player in this year’s selection process. Porter missed most of his freshman season at Missouri and was clearly hampered when he returned for the NCAA Tournament.

However, Denver received tremendous value at the end of the lottery. The No. 14 pick is no guarantee to produce an NBA All-Star, but Porter is not the typical mid first-rounder.

An elite shooter and scorer, Porter has the size to stretch the floor in the modern NBA, and he boasts the size to score inside the paint, as well.

"Coming into this process, we would've never thought that Michael would have been there at that point in the draft," assistant general manager Calvin Booth said in a statement. "To come up with him is just unbelievable. ... Here is a guy who had a chance to be a No. 1 pick before his injury."

The Philadelphia 76ers made a similar move when they drafted Joel Embiid, where they were subsequently forced to let him rehab multiple injuries for two years. The Sixers got the last laugh, as Embiid was a legitimate MVP candidate in 2017-18.

The Nuggets were not required to make this pick at the top of the lottery, either. At No. 1 or 2, it’s a risk. At 14, the selection is a no-brainer.

If healthy, Porter has the potential to form a dominant frontcourt with center Nikola Jokic in the years to come. 

Keep it here on AXS.com for more NBA news and tickets to select games.