The Denver Nuggets have had an up and down 2010 decade. They started off by trading their franchise player in Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, but they stayed relevant, making the playoffs the next three seasons without him. They won a franchise-record 57 games in 2013 but were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors, the beginning of their dynasty. Afterward came a period of purgatory. Denver wasn’t good enough to make the postseason, but they weren’t bad enough to gain a top-five pick. The tides started to turn at the end of the decade, with the Denver Nuggets showing promise and making the second round of the 2019 playoffs.
Denver Nuggets All-Decade Team
Guard – Ty Lawson
Ty Lawson spearheaded the teams without Anthony to the playoffs, putting up averages of 14.4 points and 6.6 assists per game in his tenure with the Nuggets. He was a key player for the Nuggets’ teams early in the decade.
Guard – Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray was drafted in 2016 with the seventh overall pick, and almost symbolized the beginning of a new era for Denver. Murray has put up averages of 15.6 points and 3.7 assists a game in his four seasons. There have been many great guards in the 2010s for the Nuggets, however, these two were the best.
Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Nikola Jokic
These three players may have been the best three players Denver has had in their decade. Gallinari and Faried were starters on that franchise-record winning team in 2013. Faried was in instant sensation throughout the league, earning the nickname “Manimal”. One of the best offensive rebounders in the league, Faried averaged 11.2 points and 8.3 rebounds in his seven seasons with the Nuggets. Gallinari was the key return piece in the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. His best season came in his last season with Denver, where he averaged 18.5 PPG on 45% shooting. Injuries plagued him after he tore his ACL in 2013, but Gallinari remained a scoring machine.
Nikola Jokic is arguably the best center in the league, and his arrival in Denver turned the franchise around. Jokic earned First Team All-NBA honors last season, the first Nugget to do so since David Thompson in the 1970s, and led the Nuggets to their first playoff appearance in five seasons. He is in the top 10 in league history for triple-doubles and is only 25. Jokic has averages of 16.9 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 5.4 APG for his career.
Backcourt: Gary Harris, Will Barton
Harris and Barton also ushered in a new era of Nuggets basketball. They both were on teams that didn’t have any hope of competing but also were on a team that was just one game away from the Western Conference Finals. Harris’ career started off strong, with him averaging 17.5 PPG on nearly 40% shooting from three. Injuries have also plagued Harris, but he provides valuable defense for a team that desperately needs it.
Will Barton was traded to Denver at the deadline in 2015 and his career took off. He’s averaging 14 points a game with the Nuggets and has been a key contributor for the last two seasons as they have been in the playoffs.
Frontcourt: Wilson Chandler, Paul Millsap, JaVale McGee
McGee and Chandler were also parts of the 57-win team in 2013, and they both had great careers in Denver. Chandler was a part of the Melo trade and averaged 13 PPG for the Nuggets. McGee came over from Washington, and after being a Shaqtin-a-Fool regular, turned his career around. His scoring went down but his defense and paint presence was big for two playoff runs in Denver. He put up about eight points and five rebounds a game for the Nuggets.
Paul Millsap was the first big free agent to come to Denver in a long time when he signed from the Atlanta Hawks. Although he was getting old, Millsap’s veteran presence on a young team was big for the Nuggets. He’s averaged 13 points and seven rebounds a game. Denver had a rough period in the middle of the 2010s. That is why many of the players on this list are from the early years of the decade. But with Denver trending up, expect to see a lot of different names on this list for the next decade.