This summer, Dwyane Wade left the Miami Heat to return to his hometown Chicago Bulls, but it wasn’t without effort from other teams.
One of the teams who attempted to sign Wade were the Denver Nuggets, and they did an incredible job recruiting him, according to the three-time champion. “Those guys, I was sold on them, those individuals, great individuals,” said Wade to the Denver Post’s Chris Dempsey.
Denver is in the midst of rebuilding whether they want to admit it or not. The last three seasons have been wholly unimpressive, with the teams bringing home 36, 30 and 33 wins, respectively.
That could’ve played a part in Wade’s decision, and the Bulls are more likely to win now than the Nuggets. At 34-years-old, Wade’s career has been on a downward trajectory since his injuries began to rack up, and we don’t know how much longer he can play.
This year, Denver sits at 6-10, but they have the talent to compete. Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are healthy. Rookie Jamal Murray has come out of his slump. Emmanuel Mudiay is improving and is showing promise over his last stretch of games.
The latter two guards are the Nuggets’ building blocks for the future, and the organization has reasons to be excited. Mudiay, who got drafted seventh overall in 2015, is playing better over his last six contests and Denver is 3-3 in those games.
He hasn’t been scoring much or shooting the ball well (12.5 points on 39.7 percent from the field), but he’s been making smart decisions with the basketball and is learning to play defense without fouling. Mudiay has struggled to keep his assist-to-turnover ratio respectable since coming into the league, but he’s handing out 5.3 assists and committing just 1.5 turnovers in those six games.
He’s had one foul or less in five of the six games, and he’s been heavily involved in Mike Malone’s rotation.
Murray, another lottery pick, has been scorching as of late. Over his last four contests, the former Kentucky Wildcat has completely broken out of his rookie slump and looks like an entirely different player.
With more than 21 points a night on 50 percent shooting over the Nuggets’ four most recent games, Murray is making his case as Denver’s go-to guy, and he’s nailing 56.5 percent of his threes to boot. In 12 games prior, he shot just 33.7 percent from the field and averaged just seven points.
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