The Denver Nuggets are one of the most recognized franchises in the NBA because they currently have reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic on the roster. But we are also very well aware of superstars such as Carmelo Anthony and Hall of Famer Alex English playing for the franchise, two stars that helped put the Nuggets on the map in their eras.
The state of Colorado is home to a few sports teams, but the Denver Nuggets might be the most well-known outside of the Denver Broncos. It is time to discover the greatest scorers in Nuggets history, ranking all 10 players in their PPG average in a minimum of two seasons played. It will be alarming to see where Jokic currently ranks, and the top-3 will likely be expected.
10. Antonio McDyess - 18.1 PPG
(6 Seasons, 1996-1997, 1999-2002)
Taken No. 2 overall in the 1995 NBA Draft, Antonio McDyess was expected to become a star player as all bigs were back in the day. The big man made the All-Rookie Team in 1996, averaging 13.4 PPG and 7.5 RPG. The following season, McDyess averaged 18.3 PPG and 7.3 RPG and was later traded to the Phoenix Suns before his third season.
Interestingly enough, McDyess would join the Nuggets again for 4 straight years. The big man averaged a career-high 21.2 PPG, 10.7 RPG, and 2.3 BPG in his 4th season, making his first and only All-NBA Team. Two years later, McDyess made his only All-Star Team in his 6th season by averaging 20.8 PPG and 12.1 RPG.
9. Michael Adams - 18.2 PPG
(4 Seasons, 1988-1991)
Michael Adams had a lot of things not going for him when he started his NBA career because he was an undersized guard at 5’10” and was drafted with the No. 66 overall pick. But he blossomed into a very good player for the Nuggets when he joined the franchise in his third season. After starting zero games through two seasons, Adam started 75 games when he joined Denver.
Adams averaged 13.9 PPG and 6.1 APG in his first season, becoming their full-time starter. Amazingly, the guard averaged a career-high 26.5 PPG and 10.5 APG on 39.4% shooting from the field, crazy numbers for such a miniature player. Armed with handles and raw offensive ability, Adams kicks off the list of Denver’s greatest scorers.
8. Nikola Jokic - 19.2 PPG
(7 Seasons, 2016-2022)
Reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic is already a top-10 scorer in Denver Nuggets history, posting a career average of 19.2 PPG. Nobody expected Nikola to become a superstar player, because he was a relatively out-of-shape center with very raw skills. But the big man has become the best passing center ever, and his offense has also greatly improved.
Jokic has averaged over 20 PPG 3 times over 7 seasons, notably becoming a superstar last year. The Serbian won league MVP in 2021 by averaging 26.4 PPG on 56.6% shooting from the field and 38.8% shooting from three, following that up with 25.5 PPG so far this season. One of the best talents in Nuggets history, Jokic has a chance to finish among Denver’s top-5 scorers ever.
7. George McGinnis - 20.0 PPG
(2 Seasons, 1979-1980)
The 6’8” power forward, George McGinnis, was an All-Star in his first season with the Denver Nuggets. The big man put up 22.6 PPG and 11.4 RPG on 47.4% shooting from the field, strong numbers for a player aged 28 after starting his career in the ABA. McGinnis would not last long with the franchise, getting traded 45 games into his second season.
McGinnis averaged 15.6 PPG and 10.3 RPG with the Nuggets, competing through 45 games at 31.6 MPG. The forward would suffer a steep decline shortly after, making it a good move on behalf of the Nuggets. Still, the big man’s strong start to his Denver career is enough to place him in the top-10 of the Nuggets’ best scorers.
6. Dan Issel - 20.7 PPG
(10 Seasons, 1976-1985)
A Hall of Famer, Dan Issel played the majority of his career with the Denver Nuggets. The big man put up 22.3 PPG and 8.8 RPG in his first season in the NBA, making his first All-Star Team as a result. The 6’9” center was effective around the rim, averaging 50.7% shooting from the field over the decade he played for the Nuggets.
Putting up 6 seasons of over 20 PPG with one franchise is no easy feat, but Dan Issel made it look normal. The big man was sensational in the ABA, making 6 All-Star Teams; but he was able to translate his impact to the NBA as well. A dominant paint scorer, Issel’s resume is impressive, to say the least.
5. Kiki Vandeweghe - 23.3 PPG
(4 Seasons, 1981-1984)
Taken No. 11 overall in the 1980 NBA Draft, 6’8” forward Kiki Vandeweghe did not take much time to showcase his All-Star potential. The sweet-shooting forward averaged 11.5 PPG in his rookie season, blossoming into an offensive threat in his second season by putting up 21.5 PPG and 5.6 RPG. It would not take long before the versatile forward would become an All-Star.
Vandeweghe made 2 straight All-Star Teams in 1983 and 1984, averaging 26.7 PPG and 29.4 PPG respectively. An elite scorer from the perimeter and around the rim, Kiki was a very difficult player to defend by even the best perimeter defenders. Armed with a shooting stroke and a versatile skillet, Vandeweghe is one of the best players to ever play for the Nuggets.
4. David Thompson - 24.1 PPG
(7 Seasons, 1976-1982)
Hall of Famer David Thompson played 9 seasons in the NBA, completing 7 with the Nuggets. The small forward was drafted No. 1 overall in the 1975 ABA Draft and won Rookie of the Year averaging 26.0 PPG and 6.3 RPG in a spectacular rookie season. In his first season in the NBA, Thompson averaged 25.9 PPG on 50.7% shooting while making his first All-Star Team.
The following season, Thompson averaged 27.2 PPG and 4.9 RPG on 52.1% shooting in his second straight All-Star Team. Thomson would make his third All-Star Team the following year, putting up 24.0 PPG on 51.2% shooting. The legendary offensive player would have 2 more seasons averaging over 20 PPG before averaging a career-low 14.9 PPG in his last season in Denver.
3. Carmelo Anthony - 24.8 PPG
(8 Seasons, 2004-2011)
One of the greatest and most iconic members of the Denver Nuggets franchise, Carmelo Anthony was the 3rd greatest scorer in franchise history. Drafted No. 3 overall, Anthony was expected to be a superstar and achieved that in just a few years. The forward made All-Rookie Team by averaging 21.0 PPG and would go on to have 7 straight seasons averaging over 20 PPG.
Anthony’s scoring record with the Nuggets was very impressive starting from his third season: 26.5, 28.9, 25.7, 22.8, 28.2, 25.2. The forward made 4 All-Star Teams through those years, and he has yet to surpass the 28.9 PPG average he put up in 2007. An elite scorer from the perimeter and in the post, Carmelo also made the NBA 75th Anniversary Team due to his natural offense.
2. Allen Iverson - 25.6 PPG
(3 Seasons, 2007-2009)
It is amazing how dominant Allen Iverson was throughout his career as a scorer, no matter where he went. The superstar guard won 4 scoring titles as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, and his time was up with the franchise in the 2007 season when he was traded 15 games into the season.
Iverson would complete 50 games with the Nuggets in 2007, averaging 24.8 PPG in 42.4 MPG. The following season, The Answer put up 26.4 PPG in 82 games played in 41.8 MPG. Iverson would not help the Nuggets in the postseason, as they failed in the first round for the second-straight year. After only 3 games with Denver in 2009, Iverson was traded for Chauncey Billups. Even if Iverson was not the “answer” for the Nuggets title hopes, he was one of their best scorers ever.
1. Alex English - 25.9 PPG
(11 Seasons, 1980-1990)
An iconic member of the Nuggets franchise, Alex English brought a ton of scoring prowess and success to the city of Denver. Spending the majority of his career with the Nuggets, English had a terrific scoring record with the franchise by winning the 1983 scoring title.
English made 8 straight All-Star teams with Denver, averaging over 25 PPG each of those seasons. That is an incredible production from a former No. 23 overall pick because nobody could have seen this coming. English had highs of 29.8 PPG, 28.6 PPG, 28.4 PPG, and 27.9 PPG in a span of those years. A 6’7” small forward with a soft touch and silky shot, Alex English is the greatest talent to have ever played for the franchise.
Most Points In Denver Nuggets History
Here are the ten players with the most total points in Denver Nuggets history:
1. Alex English - 21,645
2. Dan Issel - 16,589
3. Carmelo Anthony - 13,970
4. David Thompson - 11,992
5. Ralph Simpson - 10,130
6. Nikola Jokic - 9,755
7. Byron Beck - 8,603
8. Fat Lever - 8,081
9. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf - 7,029
10. Nene - 6,868