Denver Nuggets All-Time Starting Lineup
The Denver Nuggets have had a variety of stars through the years. Stars ranging all the way from Dan Issel from the beginning of the Denver Nuggets’ franchise to today’s team led by Nikola Jokic. With this in mind, it always begs one question? What would the all-time starting lineup look like for this franchise? That is what we will be tackling today. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the Denver Nuggets All-Time Starting Lineup.
The Denver Nuggets All-Time Starting Lineup
Honorable Mention/ Denver Nuggets’ Sixth Man: Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony gets a lot of hate nowadays, especially by much of the Denver Nuggets’ fan base. However, he did help the Nuggets rise to relevance again once he was drafted in the 2003 NBA Draft Class. In his rookie year alone, Melo got the Nuggets back to the postseason and finished runner up in the Rookie of the Year conversation behind LeBron James.
He still made the All-Rookie Team and would go on to provide the Nuggets many great years, making many of his 10 All-Star Teams in a Nuggets jersey. Melo would finish his Denver tenure averaging 24.8 points per game while grabbing 6.3 total rebounds per game. However, he only gets an honorable mention here due to the fact that there is one other small forward on this list who surpasses him as one of, if not, the greatest Denver Nuggets player of all time.
Denver Nuggets All-Time Starting Lineup-Starting Point Guard: Fat Lever
This one may cause a bit of controversy. Chauncey Billups was extremely close to making this list. However, it is important to remember that he spent much of his NBA career with other teams and achieved the most success with the Detroit Pistons, not the Denver Nuggets. With that in mind, Fat Lever makes the All-Time Denver Nuggets’ lineup at the starting point guard.
He is in the top 10 for career triple-doubles and had one of the most underrated careers of all time. Lever would finish his career as a two-time All-Star and also make an All-Defensive Team and an All-NBA Team as well. During his Nuggets’ tenure, Lever would average exactly 17 points per game and 7.5 assists per game while pulling down 7.6 total rebounds per game. Lever may be one of the most overlooked stars in NBA history, but he holds a special place in the hearts of many Denver Nuggets fans.
Denver Nuggets All-Time Starting Lineup–Shooting Guard: David Thompson
It is a shame Thompson’s career was cut short. He was one of the first true high-flyers in NBA history. Thompson was an athletic freak of nature and even had some legendary duels with the great Julius Erving, AKA, Dr. J. Despite a short-lived career, Skywalker was able to have a great basketball resume.
Thompson was a five-time All-Star, made an All-Rookie Team, and even made the All-NBA Team twice in his career. He would end up finishing his career averaging 22.7 points per game while grabbing 4.1 total rebounds per game. There is no telling what the Nuggets could have done if Thompson’s career wasn’t cut short.
Denver Nuggets All-Time Starting Lineup– Small Forward: Alex English
Of course, we had to include the greatest Denver Nugget of all time on this list. Alex English to some was Carmelo Anthony before Melo was even born. He helped revolutionize the mid-range game and was one of the elite scorers of his time. As a matter of fact, English scored the most points of the 1980’s decades surpassing the likes of Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy in this department.
English would finish his Nuggets’ tenure averaging a sky-high 25.9 points per game while also tallying 5.6 total rebounds per game. The Blade would finish with quite the NBA resume as well. English is an eight-time All-Star and a former scoring champion. Not to mention, he made the All-NBA Team three times in his illustrious career. The greatest Nugget of all time beats out Carmelo Anthony and Dan Issel for the starting wing spot on this list.
Starting Power Forward: Antonio McDyess
Another underrated player during his time. McDyess was one of the few bright spots for Denver in the late 1990s. He was drafted to be the next savior of the franchise and he came out of the gate looking like he would be the next big thing for the Nuggets. McDyess would make the All-Rookie Team and average around seven rebounds per game in his first two years in the league. However, the McDyess era was short-lived as injuries would begin to hinder the power forward who was living up to his potential. In the 2003-04 season, he would take his services to the New York Knicks where his career would never be the same again.
However, Dice had his best years in a Nuggets jersey averaging numbers of 18.2 points per game and nine total rebounds per game during his Denver tenure. For his career, McDyess was a one-time All-Star, made the All-Rookie Team as already alluded to, and even make the All-NBA Team in the 1998-99 season. McDyess is truly one of the overlooked Denver Nuggets greats.
Starting Center: Nikola Jokic
This is a hard one as well. You could argue that the Joker should not be on this list due to the fact that he is still young and has not quite reached the peak of his career. However, he has helped the Nuggets ascend from basketball purgatory much like Carmelo Anthony did for the team. Jokic has already made an All-Star Team and also made the All-Rookie Team. Not to mention, his numbers are already staggering and he is just going to get better. The Joker is coming off a season where he averaged a career-high 20.1 points per game and nearly averaged a triple-double pulling down 10.8 total rebounds per game and dishing out 7.3 assists per game.
On top of this, his career averages are remarkably efficient. Jokic is averaging 16.3 points per game on a true shooting percentage of 60.4 percent for his career. The career 5.1 assists per game help matters as well. While Jokic is still young, the potential and what he already has accomplished in his young career DID earn him a spot over Dikembe Mutombo on this list. If you are disappointed, do not fret. We will be going over some Nugget favorites who barely missed the cut on a different list. Regardless, these five players earned themselves a spot on this All-Time Starting Lineup list. Tune in for more All-Time Starting Lineup articles which will be coming out in the future!
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 21: Nikola Jokic #14 of Serbia looks to pass the ball over Jimmy Butler #4 of United States during the Men’s Gold medal game on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)