The No. 5 pick in 2002, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, now 32, wants another chance at the NBA. Though his name became “synonymous with draft bust,” he says things are very different now. More from The Denver Post:

“I just turned 32, but I’m better,” he said. “I’m better at this age. I got stronger. I’ve got confidence. I got smarter.”

 

 

And, as Tskitishvili admits, he did little in his three seasons in Denver to convince anyone he belonged on an NBA court. He averaged 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds and shot 30 percent in 143 games. He was 19 years old, a 7-footer lean and not close to being ready mentally and physically for the NBA when the Nuggets drafted him. Thirteen years later, he still carries the burden of failed expectations.

 

 

“I’m 100 times better than I was,” he said. “It’s just very difficult for teams to understand that, because they are looking at the number, the age. If you ask me, this is the best shape I’ve ever been in and the best I’ve been playing in my career.”