Best Players in Denver Nuggets History 

From Carmelo Anthony to Alex English, from Dan Issel to Nikola Jokic, know all about the best players in Denver Nuggets history.


Best Players in Denver Nuggets History 

Best Players in Denver Nuggets' history

The Denver Nuggets may not have won an NBA Championship yet, but some of the best players in the league’s history have played for the franchise. Originally competing in the ABA as the Denver Rockets until 1974, the franchise would then enter the NBA in 1976. 

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As the Nuggets stand at the brink of playing their first-ever NBA Finals in franchise history, we take a look at some of the greatest players who have played for the franchise. From Carmelo Anthony to Alex English, the list includes some of the best players in the Denver Nuggets’ history. 

Also Read: 10 Most Controversial NBA Players

Best Players in Denver Nuggets History 

Here are the best players in the Denver Nuggets franchise history:

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1. Alex English

Best players in Dever Nuggets history: Alex English
Alex English (NBA)

Often regarded as the greatest player to have played for the franchise, Alex English spent 10 out of 15 seasons of his NBA career with the Nuggets. One of the best power forwards of his generation, English went on to lead the franchise to nine consecutive NBA playoffs. 

The Indiana Pacers traded him to the Denver Nuggets in 1978, where he would play for the next ten years. A prolific scorer and an exceptionally versatile forward, English led the scoring charts in 1983. 

He was a seven-time all-star with the franchise and even led the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals in 1985. Having scored 21,645 points in his ten seasons with the Nuggets, English still tops the all-time franchise scoring charts. The power forward played his last NBA season with the Dallas Mavericks in 1991 and retired in 1992 after a short stint with Basket Napoli. Alex English scored 25,613 points, 6,538 assists and 4,351 rebounds during his NBA career.

2. Carmelo Anthony 

Best players in Dever Nuggets history: Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony (Getty)

One of the most sensational players to have played for the Denver Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony was selected third overall by the Nuggets in 2003. He played seven seasons with the franchise from 2003 to 2011 and ranks third in their all-time scoring list.

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During his tenure with the Nuggets, the team made the playoffs every season, eventually winning two division titles. Adored by fans for his spectacular scoring prowess, Anthony scored 13,970 points for the franchise. He was also named an all-star four times during his stay at Denver. 

Having last played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony announced his retirement on May 22, 2023. He scored 28,289 points, 7,808 rebounds and 3,422 assists in his NBA career and ranks ninth in the all-time scoring charts.

3. Dan Issel

Best players in Dever Nuggets history: Dan Issel
Dan Issel (Getty)

Another all-time great in the Denver Nuggets history is Dan Issel, who played for the franchise from 1975 to 1985. He was originally traded from the Kentucky Colonels and initiated his tenure with the Nuggets while they were playing in the ABA.

Dan had been an exceptional center with spectacular defensive qualities, but it was his prolific scoring record that made him stand out. With 14,659 points scored during his time with the Nuggets, Issel is the second-all-time highest scorer in their franchise history. 

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The Nuggets made it to the playoffs every season during his stay and Issel was one of the best Centers to have donned the franchise shirt. Dan Issel retired from the NBA after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals in 1985.

4. Nikola Jokic 

Nikola jokic
Nikola Jokic (AP)

If the inclusion of Nikola Jokic as early on the list feels disconcerting, then you definitely are missing out on the generational center’s numbers. With two regular MVPs under his belt already, the Joker is one of the best players in the league right now.

Playing for the Nuggets since being drafted in 2015, Jokic has been sensational throughout. As the five-time all-star stands on the brink of leading the franchise to its first-ever NBA Finals, one can only marvel at Jokic’s generational impact on his team. With Nikola Jokic’s ever-escalating numbers and spectacular all-round prowess, it will be no surprise as the Center rewrites the record books for the franchise.

5. David Thompson 

David Thompson
David Thompson (NBA)

One of the most sensational guards in Denver Histroy, David Thompson was among the best players of his generation. His iconic vertical leaps earned him the nickname ‘Skywalker’ and served as one of the biggest inspirations of NBA GOAT Michael Jordan. 

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Thompson played for the Nuggets from 1975, when they competed in the ABA, until the 1981-1982 season. During his time with the franchise, Thompson was named all-star on three occasions and was widely acclaimed as one of the best guards in the league. 

David Thompson scored 9,835 points for the Nuggets and ranks fifth in their all-time scoring list behind Jokic. After two seasons with the Seattle Supersonics, he retired in 1984. Thompson recorded 13,422 points, 2,446 rebounds and 1,939 assists during his professional career. 

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