Top 10 best Denver Nuggets players ever

The Denver Nuggets are currently in the process of a successful rebuild, where they have accumulated a number of young pieces to go along with a few key veterans.

As the franchise prepares for an optimistic future, we take a look back at the 10 best players in team history:

10. Chauncey Billups

In two stints, Billups spent four years with the Nuggets. His second term was far more successful, as he presided over one of the best offenses in the league. He started 201 games and led the team to the Western Conference Finals, which was a big accomplishment for the franchise. The guard also made two All-Star appearances with Denver.

9. Marcus Camby

A dominant big man, Marcus Camby spent arguably his best six seasons with the Nuggets. He averaged a double-double in three of those seasons and was a commanding presence in the paint. Camby was a two-time All-Defensive First Team selection and led the NBA in blocks from 2006 to 2008. He also recorded two triple-doubles in his last season with the team.

8. Kiki Vandeweghe

Vandeweghe excelled alongside Alex English and was ultimately the piece that allowed the franchise to acquire Calvin Natt and Fat Lever. A prolific scorer, Vandeweghe went to two All-Star Games as a member of the Nuggets, and he has the distinction of exploding for two 50-point games during the 1983-84 season. That was his best season, as he averaged 29.4 PPG and shot 55.8 percent from the field.

7. Byron Beck

Beck spent 10 seasons in Denver, although unlike Dan Issel, most of his seasons were a part of the ABA. Only one season came in the NBA, but he still left his mark on professional basketball in Denver. A two-time ABA All-Star, Beck was the first player in franchise history to have his number (No. 40) retired.

6. Dikembe Mutombo

Mutombo did not have the longevity of some of the other players on this list, but he certainly offered dominance. He began his career in 1991 with the Nuggets, and his Hall of Fame career got its kickstart there. In five seasons, Mutombo emerged as one of the league’s best defensive players ever, protecting the rim like few had before him. Mutombo left the franchise in free agency in 1996, and Bernie Bickerstaff said not bringing him back was one of his great regrets. The Nuggets have retired Mutombo’s No. 55 jersey.

5. Fat Lever

In Lafayette "Fat" Lever’s 12-year career, he enjoyed arguably his best stint with the Nuggets. A franchise leader in assists and steals, Lever was arguably the team’s best point guard. His No. 12 has currently hangs in the rafters at the Pepsi Center. Lever was a great two-way player alongside Alex English.

4. Carmelo Anthony

Anthony had a chance to be the best Nugget on this list, and even though he wanted out, he was still one of the franchise’s best scorers over his 8-year tenure. Even though he accomplished much of his success upon leaving Denver, Anthony helped turn the Nuggets into a force in the Western Conference. He was one of the league leaders in scoring almost every season, with his best season (2006-07) accounting for 28.9 PPG.

3. David Thompson

A member of the Nuggets for seven years, Thompson went to three All-Star Games and was named All-NBA First Team twice. A prolific scorer, Thompson averaged 22.1 PPG throughout his career. His No. 33 jersey was retired by the Nuggets.

2. Dan Issel

Issel played with the Nuggets in both the ABA and NBA days, emerging as an all-time great. He spent 10 years with the franchise and never played fewer than 77 games in a season. In his best NBA season in 1979-80, Issel averaged 23.8 PPG and 8.8 RPG. Issel is one of the great scorers in basketball history, as he accumulated 27,482 points in his career.

1. Alex English

English teamed with head coach Doug Moe to form one of the first great iterations of Denver Nuggets basketball. He went to the All-Star Game eight times and led the NBA in scoring during the 1983 season. All of his All-Star appearances came in a Denver uniform, and his No. 2 jersey has been retired by the franchise.