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New Nuggets GM believes drafting another ‘Nikola Jokic’ is possible

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Newly-minted Denver Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth shared some behind-the-scenes details on scouting in the international scene. From his point of view, drafting a player like Nikola Jokic is possible.

Booth, a former 10-year NBA vet, shared his priorities when it comes to scouting. He noted that international scouting has its advantages over looking at players in the NCAA. This method led the Nuggets to pick an unknown player from Serbia who’s now a bona fide NBA star. For Booth, who has been with the Nuggets’ front office for three years, there’s no reason why they can’t spot another one like him.

“I value [international scouting] a lot,” Booth said, per Alex Labidou of nba.com. “All we’re trying to do is look for where inefficiencies are, where you can get value. Even though as the years go on and as people get more and more interested in Europe and they are putting more resources into it, it’s still a landscape where you can find a gem.”

He added, “You can find a Nikola at No. 41. It’s a lot harder to find [a similar prospect] at No. 41 if he is playing in the NCAA. It is a very important part of our scouting package and we’ll continue to value it moving forward.”

To recall, Jokic was the Nuggets’ 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. At first, Jokic mainly appeared in highlight reels for his impressive passing and vision. But as the years went by, analysts quickly took notice of Jokic. He wasn’t just displaying an uncanny style of play, but the Nuggets were actually winning games. And over the last two years or so, Jokic has been one of the top MVP candidates.