Now all of us Stiff readers know that our Denver Nuggets do not currently own a pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. But that should not stop the team from trying to pick up some young, cheap talent on June 24.
In this post, I’m going to try to keep this as realistic and plausible as I can. Meaning I won’t include players like DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, or Greg Monroe (or any project lottery pick) because I feel that while it can happen -- it would take a major trade, but that is not what this post is about.
Projected: Late lottery to late first round pick.
Overview: Now this guy to me seems like the biggest risk in the draft considering he could either become a starting center or be out of the league in couple of years. It completely depends on where this guy lands. I think that if he lands some place like Oklahoma City or Minnesota where he is expected to contribute immediately I think he will greatly disappoint. But in a situation with veterans and veteran coaches, he could just learn the ways of the league for his for his first 2-3 years while eventually becoming a solid rotation player.
How do we get him? He’s one of the few the picks on my list that we probably can’t just buy a pick. I think our best chance would be to get him at #16 from the Timberwolves (because they love giving us players on draft day, see Ty Lawson). I don’t know if they would do it, but I would think we could get it for a future first pick and future second pick combined.
Kevin Seraphin (6’9" Center):
Project: Late first round pick
Overview: I don’t know too much about him, but I do know that he is probably the best European prospect left in the draft (and he might withdraw since Dontas Montiejunas recently withdrew. I also know that he is currently injured preventing him to go to the Eurocamp to show teams his skill. So pretty much his draft stock is low now, but teams understand he is skilled. He may be undersized for the center position, but as we’ve recently seen with Glen Davis, size could be greatly over rated.
My comparison: Serge Ibaka
How do we get him? This is kind of tricky because it is kind of hard to predict where he will end up in the draft due to his injury. He could go anywhere from #21 to a second round pick. I consider him my Dejuan Blair of the draft (meaning he will fall in the draft), but that is just my gut feeling.
Stanley Robinson (6’9" SF/PF) (pictured above with UCONN)
Projected: Late first
Overview: Robinson doesn’t really fill a need for the Nuggets, but he would be a useful prospect to have. The reason I like him is because if Linas Kleiza doesn’t comeback, he could really fit our combo forward off the bench. He’s also very athletic which we could use off the bench.
How do we get him? Probably buy a pick from around #24 to #30. I could see every team in that range to potentially sell their pick.
Gani Lawal (6’9" PF/C):
Projected: Early second round.
Overview: While he may be short for the center position, he makes up for it with a 7 foot wingspan. He kind of reminds me of Glen Davis because he has a pretty big build and knows he will be a role player. This is one player I could see helping the Nuggets right away.
My Comparison: Glen Davis
How do we get him? Buy a second round pick from either the Wizards or any of the teams in the 31-36 range.
Jordan Crawford (6’4" SG):
Projected: Early second round
Overview: Amazing scorer, that could potentially become a sparkplug of the bench. He could score in bunches and has a scorer’s mentality. He could eventually replace JR Smith, but the problem I see with Crawford on the Nuggets: I doubt Coach George Karl (assuming he returns) would play him much. He would really have to prove himself, because as we saw with Sonny Weems, Karl won’t play rookies unless they prove they deserve the minutes (like Ty Lawson did).
My Comparison: Sonny Weems and Ben Gordon
How do we get? The same way we would get Lawal(see above).
Solomon Alabi (7’1", 240 lb. C):
Projected: Mid-Late First Round
Overview: Amazing size and length that we need. Great shot blocker, positions his body so he doesn’t pick up a lot of fouls (averaged about 2.5 per game). Offensively a project, has a nice hook shot and a nice short-mid range jumpshot, 79% FT shooter is extraordinary for someone his size. He doesn’t have an arsenal of post moves and relies on his length (which he won’t be able to do in the NBA). Length allows him to get offensive rebounds easily but isn’t a very good defensive rebounder. He doesn’t move very quickly and will struggle against quicker Centers. Needs to pack on some weight and add strength. Not a great passer. Needs time to mature but he has all the ingredients to be a great player.
How to get him: Buy Memphis’ #25 pick.
Projected: Early-Mid Second Round
Overview: Definitely has size and power to clear space in the paint. Has promising moves with back to the basket. Comfortable with counter moves in the post, great footwork. Can finish with either hand so he doesn’t get blocked much. Soft touch inside enables jump hooks and turn around jumpers. Good range and confidence in his jumpshot. Can attack off the dribble. Solid Rebounder. Can’t jump very high since he’s so big. Doesn’t do well with double teams and there have been questions about his motor. Have to watch his weight.
Cool Video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNY0wnhv3Ow
How to get him: Buy early 2nd round pick.
Jerome Jordan (7’1", 245 lbs. C)
Projected: Mid- Second Round
Overview: Has great size and length. Good athleticism for someone that big. Good mid-range jump shot and good FT shooter. Has some effective post moves and counters. Great rebounder and shot blocker due to his size. Not very tough, avoids contact. Needs more strength. Passive-aggressive with the ball. Questions on his motor. Not a great passer.
How to get him: Buy Knicks’ #38 pick.
Some other prospects that I don’t know too much about that intrigue me are: Jerome Jordan, Miroslav Raduljica (his name shouts future stiff), Willie Warren, Jarvis Varnado and Craig Brackins.
While there are many more options the Denver Nuggets could go, the ones listed seem the most likely. Only time will tell how the Nuggets handle the NBA Draft, but one thing is for sure, with such a deep draft and so many teams looking to sell their picks, they better be players on draft night.
(Pictures courtesy of AP Photos)