Bill Self, the head coach of Kansas, ponders this as he talks about Christian Braun: “There’s something to being one of the leading scorers for the national champion.”
It’s June 23, the night of the NBA Draft in 2022, not long after Braun was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 21st overall choice. Braun’s selection in the first round was a manifestation of the positive energy that surrounded him throughout the drafting process. This led to his invitation to the NBA combine, which Self also mentioned.
An Amazing Previous Season
Self claimed that he had advised Braun, who was only a junior in college this past season, to give the NBA draught process his all. Self claimed Braun would join the draft, but it was intended to support the idea Braun should learn his likely fate. Self realized that Braun was not going to join the Jayhawks after that process got underway.
Self would later add that evening, however, that Braun’s professional fit with Denver is more complicated. Braun and executives from the Nuggets’ front office discussed it that evening and in the days that followed.
In a video posted to the team’s Twitter account, Denver’s vice president of scouting, Jim Clibanoff, said:
“NBA-ready guy, winner, played 40 minutes in the national championship game, checks many, many boxes, great body, plays hard, big cojones. I mean, he’s just — we search for guys like this. We wanted to get bigger in the back court, he can play at the 2-spot, he can play at the 3-spot, but he can really join our rotation now. He’s not one of these wait and see projects. So, plug and play.”
Braun about being drafted by the Nuggets
During a media appearance, Braun referred to getting selected by the Nuggets as a dream come true. He appreciates the team’s winning attitude, which has led to each of the past four seasons’ playoff appearances. He emphasized the company’s pride in being competitive on both sides of the field and its goal to win a title.
Reacting to the notion that he may spend most of the time on the bench in the NBA as well, Braun said:
“It’s all a part of the process, you can’t skip those things. You just got to get better every day, and just find a way to impact winning on whatever level that is — whether that’s on the bench, whether it’s in practice, you just got to get better every day and find a way to make your mark on the Denver Nuggets.
“And then, once you do those things, obviously the team goes in the right direction.”