Denver, CO – The 2012 NBA Draft kicks off tonight at 5pm MST, and this years edition looks to be one of the deepest in several years. The teams in the lottery are looking for immediate help as always, and are praying that their decisions this evening don’t end up being massive mistakes. For every high pick that ends up being a future Hall of Famer, history tells us that there are plenty of top choices who never panned out at all. Does anyone remember Sam Bowie being taken ahead of Michael Jordan? How about Greg Oden ahead of Kevin Durant? Or Darko Milicic one spot before Carmelo Anthony? As smart as NBA teams think they might be, like any other draft in any other sport, it is just one expensive game of high stakes poker. Tonight will bring several trades that nobody is talking about right now, that will undoubtedly alter the complexion of the draft. Some teams will deal players and/or picks to move up, and players like Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Lamar Odom may finally have a new home before sunrise tomorrow. So with this said, what do the Nuggets do at pick #20? Some rumors have them packaging Wilson Chandler and their pick to move up to Golden State’s pick at #7. Other rumors will probably surface as the day moves on. One thing is for sure, Denver has plenty of depth and pieces to discuss with other teams. Honestly, the Nuggets have at least 10 players on their roster who deserve minutes on the floor going forward. That is a blessing and also a curse. If they were able to package 2 or 3 guys to upgrade at one position, they should explore that. So if they stand pat and stay at pick #20, here are a few guys who may be available there, and I feel would be nice additions to Denver’s roster……
1 – John Jenkins (Vanderbilt) - Maybe the best shooter in this draft, Jenkins would fill an outside three point need Denver has. He averaged 20 pts/game last year and made 44% of his three’s. He is not overly quick, but has a quick release and outstanding range. I would love Jenkins in a Nuggets uniform.
2 – Perry Jones III (Baylor) - What an athletic freak this guy is. At 6’11″, he can jump out of the gym. The thought of him alongside JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried on the Nuggets front line makes yours truly drool. If Denver goes big at pick #20, he would be a nice addition.
3 – Terrence Jones (Kentucky) - Jones is an interesting option here, as he is left-handed and very versatile. At 6’9″, he has some nice size and already has an NBA type body. He can defend well, is very athletic, but must work on his shooting. Not my favorite option here, but not a bad one either.
4 – Marquis Teague (Kentucky) - A backup point guard to help Ty Lawson would not be a bad idea. Teague is very quick and plays the game much like Lawson does. If Andre Miller does not come back, the Nuggets will have a glaring need in this position.
5 – Kendall Marshall (North Carolina) - This point guard should be gone by pick #20, but if he slips a bit, could potentially be an option for Denver. He is a very smart floor leader, and really improved his shooting last year. It would also be fun for the Nuggets to pair up Marshall with Lawson, as we could have an all-Tar Heel point guard tandem here.
6 – Fab Melo (Syracuse) - Another Melo in Denver? Say it isn’t so….and from Syracuse? Ugh, it sounds all too familiar…..this Melo may end up proving he is just as big a knucklehead as our previous Melo, but his size is intriguing. At 7’0″, he has shown he is quite a shot blocker and a game changer on the defensive end of the floor. He has had his problems off the court though, and was suspended for the 2012 NCAA Tournament because of classroom issues.
7 – Royce White (Iowa State) - This power forward really emerged late last year, and has the ball handling ability of a point guard. At 6’8″ and 270 lbs, he is NBA ready right now, and can do a lot given his size. He shot an impressive 53% from the field, but only 49% from the free throw line. How does that happen? Anyway, he would add some beef to the front line as a Nugget.
- So many moves are bound to happen between now and this evening, and Denver being involved in some trades would not surprise me at all. It will be interesting to see what direction they head in tonight, whether it’s more size on the front line or some shooting help from the outside. The 2012 NBA Draft gets started right at 5pm!
Denver Sports by J Simp