Denver Nuggets add big forward who flashed at summer league

Jul 14, 2023, 10:55 AM

Braxton Key...

Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets bulked up the back end of their roster late Thursday night, picking up Braxton Key on a two-way deal.

The news comes from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, as Denver adds a second two-way player to fill the new three slots. Key, a 26-year-old 6-foot-8 forward out of the University of Virginia, has played parts of two NBA seasons split between the Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers.

Key starred in a Summer League game for the Dallas Mavericks earlier this week, slamming home a game-winning putback dunk in overtime after getting a block on the other end. Key is a winner, taking home a national title for the Cavaliers and in high school he led the famed Oak Hill Academy to a 45–1 record and a national championship.

Key has only played 206 NBA minutes but has gotten a ton of time in the G League. This past season he scored 13.7 points, grabbed 7.7 rebounds, threw 4.1 assists, got 1.7 steals and record 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 52.3% from the field and 40.2% from deep across 30 games.

Key joins champion Villanova guard Collin Gillespie as Denver’s two two-way guys. The new CBA, which began at the month’s beginning, allows for every team to have three of these players. Gillespie is yet to play in the NBA due to a catastrophic leg break last summer but these types of players will bounce between the G League and NBA throughout the season with a limited amount of time they can spend with the NBA Nuggets.

It’s clear what Clavin Booth keeps targeting, a bit older of a group of players than the normal prospect with a dearth of winning experience. For Booth, Key is another big body who has the potential to be an impact shooter.

In the past the Nuggets have had a lot of success with two-way players, getting great contributions from Monte Morris and Torrey Craig who later became full-time players. In addition to Gillespie, last season the Nuggets also rostered Jack White who went on to sign a full-time deal with the Thunder this offseason. The Nuggets also had former two-way player Davon Reed on the roster for much of the season.



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