The Denver Nuggets franchise has been home to some of the best players in basketball history. While the organization doesn’t have any ABA or NBA championships to show for it, the franchise has consistently put out talented players each and every season since it became a professional squad in 1967.
For this piece, we’ll be taking a look at the five best Nuggets of all time. As a whole, the organization has 413 ABA wins and 1,746 victories in the NBA. The Nuggets became an NBA squad in 1976. A total of 10 Hall of Famers have suited up for the Denver franchise at least once.
5. Dan Issel
Dan Issel averaged 20.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest in 718 games with the Nuggets once they became an NBA club. He played in the ABA, too.
The Hall of Famer is first in franchise history in free-throws, rebounds and win-shares. His No. 44 jersey is retired by the team.
4. David Thompson
In 415 NBA games with the Nuggets, David Thompson put up 23.7 points per night. He won the 1976 ABA Rookie of the Year Award.
The all-time great scored 11,992 points with Denver. He’s fourth in franchise history in that category and has his No. 33 jersey hanging in the rafters at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver, Colorado. Thompson is one of the most lethal scorers of all time.
3. Dikembe Mutombo
Dikembe Mutombo averaged 12.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.8 blocks in 391 games with the Nuggets. He is one of the best shot-blockers in NBA history and a big season why the 8th-seeded Nuggets were able to knock off the No. 1 seed Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 1994 playoffs in stunning fashion.
Mutombo averaged won the 1995 Defensive Player of the Year Award with Denver and was named a Hall of Famer in 2015. Mutombo is the Nuggets’ franchise leader in blocks, rebounds per game and blocks per game. His jersey is retired by the club.
2. Carmelo Anthony
The Nuggets selected Carmelo Anthony with the third overall pick in the legendary 2003 draft. Melo played in 564 games for Denver. The future Hall of Famer averaged 24.8 points per contest and led the franchise to the 2009 Western Conference Finals, where the team ultimately lost to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Anthony scored 13,970 points with the Nuggets before he was traded to the New York Knicks in 2011. The former Syracuse Orange superstar is the third-highest scorer in franchise history. Since he’s still an active NBA player, Anthony’s No. 15 jersey has not been retired by Denver.
1. Alex English
The best player in Nuggets history, Alex English averaged 25.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists a night in 837 games with the organization. He scored 21,645 points in a Denver uniform, first in franchise history.
English is also the Nuggets all-time leader in games played, minutes played, field goals, offensive rebounds, assists, points per game and VORP. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997 and is always showered with love whenever he comes back to Denver to attend a Nuggets game.