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Nuggets select power forward Zeke Nnaji with the No. 22 overall pick

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

One look at the list of Nuggets currently under contract for the upcoming season suggested where they’d go with their first-round pick in the NBA Draft. Paul Milsap is a free agent, as is Mason Plumlee. And when Jerami Grant turned down his player option for 2020-21, he too hit the open market.

That’s not to say all won’t return for the upcoming season. But it’s highly likely that all three will not return. Thus, Denver need to add someone new to the mix, a young player who can develop into the team’s power forward of the future.

Enter Zeke Nnaji, the Nuggets selection at No. 22 in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Local basketball fans are familiar with Nnaji, as he played his college ball at the University of Arizona. So he faced off with the Buffs during his time with the Wildcats.

Nnaji won’t turn 20 years old until January, so he still has a lot of room to grow. But at 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds, he’s already a big presence on the floor.

Here’s how NBA described the big man’s game in their draft profiles:

Zeke Nnaji is an agile big man with a strong motor who emerged as one of the bigger breakout stars in the freshman class in his single season at Arizona. A late bloomer who was widely regarded as a top-35 prospect in the high school class of 2019 following his senior year at Hopkins High School (Minn.), Nnaji was the third-highest ranked recruit in head coach Sean Miller’s incoming class, but exceeded expectations from the start in Tucson.

During his one season at U of A, Nnaji averaged 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He also earned All-Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors.