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Woody Paige: What were the Nuggets and Avalanche thinking on draft days?

June 25, 2017 Updated: June 26, 2017 at 7:15 am
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photo - Cale Makar puts on a Colorado Avalanche jersey after being selected by the team in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Cale Makar puts on a Colorado Avalanche jersey after being selected by the team in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) 

Alexandre Lacazette, who attended a Rockies-Dodgers game over the weekend, is projected to become a renowned player for KSE (which stands for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, but should be Kroenke Sports EMPIRE), but he was not drafted by the Nuggets or the Avalanche.

Nor will Lacazette join the Los Angeles Rams, the Colorado Rapids, the Colorado Mammoth or Altitude Network or the World Fishing Network, and he won't be employed at The Can or Dick's Sporting Goods Park or Walmart.

Stan Kroenke reportedly is buying the French soccer striker from Lyon for his Arsenal team, which has been demoted from the Champions League for the first time since 1997-98, for approximately $56.3 million.

Swell, expensive acquisition.

I would have preferred Jimmy Butler.

Or perhaps Joel Edmundson, Jordan Schmaltz and a No. 1 draft pick.

We're still here, Stan The Man, and so is your son Josh.

On Friday and Saturday, the Avalanche drafted - first and second - two defensemen, three forwards, another defensemen and a goalie.

The No. 4 overall pick, Cale Makar, was the most highly rated North American defenseman in the draft, and should be an All-Star some season, but not next season because he is going off to play in college. None of the selections immediately will help the Avalanche, who could use some because they are the worst franchise in the NHL.

It had been recommended that general manager Joe Sakic trade Matt Duchene for a couple of potential stars and a first-round pick, but the Avs obviously are not in any hurry to be any good.

I'm having problems keeping up with all the drafts of the past 12 days involving the Rockies, the Nuggets and the Avs because I'm old and dim-witted, and I'm still figuring out the Broncos' draft choices, and the difference between Carlos Henderson and De'Angelo Henderson.

But I'm not so draft daft to know that if the Nuggets could have traded with the Bulls for Butler, they were stupid not to.

The 27-year-old Butler is among the three supreme shooting guard-small forwards in the National Basketball Association.

The Nuggets can't attract superstar free agents to Denver because, I guess, it's such a lousy, dusty old cowtown. The Nuggets are a borderline lottery-playoff team. They are not, and have never been, titlists. They are destined to be an also-ran again next season, and the seasons after. Yet, Josh Kroenke has promoted his two lieutenants, although Kroenke The Younger remains the "boss'' of both the Nugs and the Avs. The real commander-in-charge-of-all-things-basketball-and-hockey is Kroenke The Elder.

Butler could have been the Nuggets' way out of mediocrity and the way into competing in the Western Conference.

Instead, the Nuggets traded the No. 13 selection in the first round - defensive-oriented guard Donovan Mitchell - to get the 24th pick from the Jazz for a couple of JAGs (Just another Guys) who you've never heard of. Me, neither.

Really?

 

Tyler Lydon and Trey Lyles are about to lead the Nuggets out of the wilderness? I don't think so.

Pay no attention to Nuggets executive and their media lackeys. The Nuggets just got worse after the draft while several teams in the Western Conference improve. The Timberwolves traded for Butler. The Spurs picked Derrick White, the former stalwart for the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and CU Boulder, who wants to be, and could be, a Chauncey Billups clone.

(Chauncey might be the new head of basketball operations for the Cavs, when all he actually ever wanted to be was a Nuggets executive. Lord help us. The Nuggets won't.)

The hangup in the Bulls-Nuggets negotiations was that Chicago wanted guard Jamal Murray, who was brilliant at times as a Nuggets rookie last season. But Murray is no Jimmy Butler, and won't be. The Nuggets should have given the Bulls everything they wanted, except Nikola Jokic, for Butler.

The Nuggets could have traded up and chosen Lauri Markkanen - the player I advocated. The future Dirk Nowitzki play-alike is now with the Bulls.

Someone explain to me how the Nuggets upgraded.

Or the Avalanche.

Nobody can.

The Avs had to make a draft-day trade to shake up a restless roster of underachievers. Rather, the once-dominant franchise is destined to stay in the nethermost regions.

Where the Rapids currently reside.

So, maybe we should cheer for Arsenal and Alexandre "The Great'' Lacazette.

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