Braxton Key, former player for the Virginia Cavaliers, has landed his latest opportunity in the NBA. After impressive performances in the NBA Summer League, Key has agreed to terms on a two-way contract with the reigning NBA Champions, the Denver Nuggets. The news was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday night, confirming Key’s new venture with the Nuggets.
Following his collegiate career at Virginia, Key went undrafted in 2020 and has since made his way between the NBA and the G League. He had brief stints with the Philadelphia 76ers, playing two games, and the Detroit Pistons, playing 12 games, including three during the 2022-2023 season. Key’s two-way contract with the Pistons came to an end in December, making him an unrestricted free agent during the offseason.
The Dallas Mavericks signed Key to their roster for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where he showcased his skills and provided significant value in limited minutes off the bench. Over three games, Key averaged 8.0 points on 44.4% shooting, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.0 steals in just over 19 minutes per game.
On Wednesday night, Key delivered a standout performance, making a pivotal block on one end of the court and following it up with a game-winning putback dunk in overtime to secure the victory for the Mavericks against the Warriors. This clutch play not only drew attention to Key but also highlighted his potential as an NBA player.
Key’s abilities as a rebounder and versatile defender attracted the Denver Nuggets, who were eager to add him to their roster. With his two-way contract, Key will have the opportunity to earn a spot on the Nuggets’ 15-man roster before the start of the upcoming season in October. He becomes the second former Virginia men’s basketball player to join the Nuggets this offseason, following Armaan Franklin, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the team on June 23rd.
Before entering the professional ranks, Key played college basketball at the University of Alabama, where he showcased his skills as a forward. After two years with the Crimson Tide, he transferred to the University of Virginia and was a key member of the Cavaliers’ 2019 National Championship-winning team. Key’s basketball lineage includes his uncle, Ralph Sampson, who played for the Cavaliers from 1979 to 1983.
As Braxton Key begins this new chapter with the Denver Nuggets, he will have the opportunity to prove himself and compete for a spot on the team’s active roster. His versatility, defensive prowess, and championship experience from his time at Virginia make him a valuable addition to the Nuggets organization as they aim for continued success in the upcoming season.