Anonymous NBA staffers snub Jokic, one says Denver had worst summer

Aug 30, 2022, 12:07 PM
Nikola Jokic...
Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets may again be caught on the sour end of coast bias.

ESPN’s Tim Bontemps released his annual anonymous poll of 15 NBA coaches, scouts, and executives on Tuesday. The questions rang from the league’s best player to who will win it all in the coming season. And unsurprisingly, the Nuggets caught a bit of the short end of the stick. Still, it’s interesting to see how the league gauges its teams and players.

The poll asked, who is the best player in the NBA right now? The answers were 11 votes for Giannis Antetokounmpo, three for Stephen Curry, and one for LeBron James. Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP who led the Bucks to a title two seasons ago, and Curry, The Finals MVP from last season, make sense as votes. But for back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic not to get a single vote is shocking. Especially when you consider that James’ Lakers have struggled for two seasons, and he’s at least five years past his prime.

Last season Jokic was snubbed from this list, with Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant carrying the votes. But even with the resume building, Jokic lacks respect league-wide, and that may be the case until he can lead the Nuggets deeper into the playoffs.

One of the NBA staffers polled believes the Nuggets will do just that, as one person picked the Nuggets to come out of the NBA’s Western Conference this season and meet somebody in The Finals. Most had the Bucks or Celtics coming out of the East at seven votes each and one vote for Miami. The Clippers will win the West according to the poll, with the Suns and Warriors getting votes. The Clippers were picked most likely to win it all.

A reason the Nuggets didn’t get picked much could be due to their last few years being so chaotic with injuries to Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., But another reason could be a poor offseason.

One league staffer said the Nuggets had the worst offseason in the NBA. They were not a fan of the trade that sent Monte Morris and Will Barton out for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith.

“I really liked the trade they made with Denver. I think it’s hugely lopsided in their favor,” a staffer who thought the Wizards had the best offseason said. “They put themselves in the middle tier of the East … with Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland.”



(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)...
Will Petersen

Back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic has a wrist injury worth monitoring

Jokic had the wrist wrapped during Denver's preseason game on Monday night, then wasn't able to fully participate in practice on Wednesday
16 hours ago
Nikola Jokic...
Jake Shapiro

NBA GMs vote Jokic league’s best passer, say Nuggets will get home court

The annual general manager survey was released on Tuesday, with some interesting notes about how brass thinks about the Denver Nuggets
2 days ago
jamal murray...
Shawn Drotar

Murray, Porter Jr. tantalize in impressive preseason return for Nuggets

Two of Denver's biggest stars returned to the court on Monday night following long injury layoffs, providing a glimpse of what could be
2 days ago
Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr....
Jake Shapiro

A fully healthy Denver Nuggets squad is playing basketball right now

539 days, that's how long it's been since the Denver Nuggets were last healthy but they're all back tonight
3 days ago
Calvin Booth...
James Merilatt

The Nuggets give general manager Calvin Booth a contract extension

After losing Tim Connelly this offseason, Denver made a move to prevent further raiding of their front office by extending their GM
4 days ago
DeAndre Jordan and Jeff Green...
Jake Shapiro

Bye bye Boogie: Who will the Nuggets pick to backup the NBA MVP?

The Denver Nuggets does have a vital role that's still up for grabs with a few candidates that could grab it
6 days ago
Anonymous NBA staffers snub Jokic, one says Denver had worst summer