No rest needed: Christian Braun holds 3-day camp 1 month after his NBA season ends

Christian Braun isn’t planning any trips to faraway places for some well-deserved rest and relaxation during this, his second offseason as an NBA player.

“Nah, not really. I love Kansas City. Kansas City is my vacation,” Braun, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound 23-year-old high school, college and NBA champion said with a smile on Monday afternoon.

Braun is hosting his three-day “Champ Camp 2024” at Radiant Church’s auditorium in Overland Park.

“Champ Camp” signifies Braun’s winning three Class 6A high school titles at Blue Valley Northwest (2017, ‘18, ‘19), followed by an NCAA title at Kansas in 2022 and NBA title with the Denver Nuggets in 2023.

Braun was hard at work Monday instructing 200 or more youths with the assistance of his brother, former KU and BV Northwest forward Parker Braun, as well as the duo’s high school coach, Ed Fritz. Also on hand were a handful of Christian’s teammates at BV Northwest, who were working as instructors.

“Work out and get ready for next year, to help us win a championship,” Christian Braun said of his specific summertime plans in an interview with The Star.

Fritz observed that Braun is most content when there’s a basketball in his hands, not a travel itinerary to some vacation spot.

“The week after his season was over he was in the gym in North Kansas City working out and helping everybody out,” said Fritz, who is head coach at North Kansas City High. “He knows what he needs to do.

“Yes he will be an NBA starter,” Fritz added of Braun, who averaged 7.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists during the 2023-24 season. Braun logged 18.0 minutes a game in 82 games for the Nuggets, who lost to Minnesota in Game Seven of a second-round Western Conference playoff series. Braun started four games for the Nuggets this past campaign and six in his rookie season (2022-23).

“Even more important than that, he is going to be in the league for 12 or 13 years because he knows how to do all the little things,” Fritz added. “He is the best teammate. I’ve never heard anybody say they don’t like playing with him. He is so smart. He’ll figure it out. I think this year will be a good year for him. He is going to sign a great contract. His career is going to take off.”

Braun, who was selected No. 21 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, fresh out of college signed a 4 year, $13,769,157 contract with the Nuggets, including $13,769,157 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $3,442,289.

According to, he in 2024-25 will earn a base salary of $3,089,640, while carrying a cap hit of $3,089,640. The team has a club option for the 2025-26 season with a deadline of Oct. 31. He’ll be a restricted free agent in 2026-27 if he hasn’t signed a new deal with Denver by then.

“All I want is more opportunity to show who I am as a player. I think coach Malone (Michael, head coach) and Calvin Booth (GM) obviously have given me a tremendous opportunity these first two years,” said Braun who in his rookie season made an immediate impact in the league.

“We came up short last year. All we can do is bounce back, work out and be even better going into next year. I hope I get more and more opportunity because I know what I can do with that opportunity. It’s great what they have given me so far. I can’t wait to grow as a player with the Nuggets.”

Asked if he thought he’d start for the team in 2024-25, Braun said: “It doesn’t matter. Obviously you want to get a bigger and bigger role every year but I want to win a championship. I want to get back on top, back where we were supposed to be this year.”

Braun said his summer workout schedule may include scrimmaging a bit with the 2024-25 KU team in Lawrence.

“We’ll see. If I’m healthy, then yes. I would love to go up there and play with them, but I’m (mainly) excited to watch them honestly. I like to be around coach (Bill) Self. I like to be around those guys. They are my family. I’m always going to watch and be part of it,” Braun said.

Braun didn’t know his plans for the upcoming NBA Draft, set for Wednesday and Thursday in New York.

“If Tyon would have been in the draft I’d have been with him (on draft night),” Braun said of former KU and Schlagle High guard Tyon Grant-Foster, who has also played at DePaul and most recently Grand Canyon University. He recently removed his name from the draft pool to play a final year at GCU. “We are very close.

“He is better than a lot of NBA players, in my opinion. He’s super talented. Obviously the heart stuff (heart condition which has cleared up following surgery) hasn’t helped but it’s been an obstacle for him that has made him better, made him stronger, He is a really good person, really good kid. He’s one of my best friends. He is more than ready to play in the NBA.”

Braun advised draft hopefuls Johnny Furphy and Kevin McCullar of KU to “enjoy it. Hopefully they have people they love around them, have people around them that helped them get there. Show your gratitude toward them. Show how grateful you are for them especially on such an important night.”

Of the KU guard duo, Braun said: “They will both be drafted. I think everybody knows that. I hope the fit is great for them wherever they go. I’m really excited for both of them. Both are really good players. Kevin has proven it. Johnny has a lot of upside. I’m excited for both of them.”

Braun believes some current Jayhawks will be drafted in the future.

“I think they are going to be good,” he said of the 2024-25 Jayhawks. “I like Rylan Griffen (Alabama transfer) a lot. He’s one of the talented new guys. I like a lot of the pieces. Obviously Elmarko’s injury sucks,” he added of Elmarko Jackson being out for the season following knee surgery. “I’ve not watched them enough. I’ve been up a couple times (this past month). I’m interested in the season, how they go and how they go together. With coach Self they’ll have a great year this year.”