Denver Nuggets All-Time Starting Five Team

Jason Schandl
The greatest Denver Nuggets player at every position in franchise history, including Alex English.
The greatest Denver Nuggets player at every position in franchise history, including Alex English. / Focus On Sport/Getty Images
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The Denver Nuggets franchise dates back to 1967, when they started off as the Denver Rockets in the ABA. They made the transition to the NBA (as the Nuggets) in 1976, and they're still looking for their first championship.

Not winning a championship doesn't mean they haven't had some truly great players suit up for them, however. There are 10 former Nuggets in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and more surely to come.

With that in mind, let's look at the Denver Nuggets' all-time starting five — the best possible starting lineup with a former Nugget at each position.

1. Guard: Lafayette "Fat" Lever (1984-1990)

Fat Lever is one of the most unique players in the history of the game. Something of a precursor to Russell Westbrook, he averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game in six seasons with the Nuggets, recording 43 triple-doubles. He also ranks No. 6 in NBA/ABA history with an average of 2.20 steals per game over his career, and his average of 2.46 per game as a Nugget would jump him to third all time.

2. Guard: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (1990-1996)

Ty Lawson and Andre Miller get plenty of consideration for this second guard spot, but Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (drafted as Chris Jackson before changing his name in 1993) gets the nod thanks to his work as a scorer. He's third (behind Lever and David Thompson) on the Nuggets all-time guard scoring list, with 7,029 career points, and he led the team in points per game (PPG) twice (the 1992-93 and 1995-96 seasons). When he left Denver in 1996, he ranked third in franchise history with 371 made 3-pointers.

3. Forward: Carmelo Anthony (2003-2011)

Carmelo Anthony is the No. 3 scorer in franchise history, with 13,970 points as a Nugget, also ranking No. 4 in PPG and having generated the fifth-most win shares (53.5) in franchise history. Melo gave LeBron James a serious run for his money in the 2004 Rookie of the Year race too, and Melo earned three All-NBA Third-Team and one All-NBA Second-Team honors in Denver.

4. Forward: Alex English (1979-1990)

Arguably the best player in Nuggets history at any position, Alex English's name is all over the record book. He is the Denver record holder for games played (837), points (21,645) and assists (3,679). The eight-time All-Star was the NBA scoring champion in 1983, was named to three All-NBA Second Teams and has his No. 2 retired by the Nuggets in 1992. He was then elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997.

5. Center: Dan Issel (1975-1985)

Maybe the only Nugget that gives English a run for his money as the all-time greatest, Dan Issel is the franchise leader in rebounds (6,630) and ranks second in scoring (16,589 points). Issel also had impressive longevity in Denver, averaging at least 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in four consecutive years in his 30's. Like English, Issel holds a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame and had his number retired by the Nuggets.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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