Chad Iske will be heading up the Nuggets Summer League team in Las Vegas from July 13-22, 2012 on the campus at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Already committed to the team are former rookies Kenneth Faried, Julyan Stone, and sleeper Jordan Hamilton. The Nuggets will play five games in Vegas, but the big question remains ... what rookies will be joining the Nuggets?
The Nuggets own three draft picks this year with their own first round pick at No. 20 and two second round picks: No. 38 and No. 50. Denver has already brought in a slew of shooting guards for workouts in Vanderbilt's John Jenkins (a sharp shooter), Washington's Terrence Ross, and Missouri State's Kyle Weems (former Nugget Sonny Weems' younger brother). According to Sam Amick, of Sports Illustrated, the Nuggets also are interested in Royce White from Iowa State and perhaps Quincy Miller (6'9'', 200 lbs) from Baylor.
The knock on Royce White, besides his anxiety and fear of flying, is that he may be a duplicate (in a sense) of Faried. At 6'8'' and 270 pounds, White is a bigger version of Faried, but he lacks a consistent jump shot with range. The Nuggets seem to be focusing on shooters in this draft, so the White news is a bit of a surprise to me.
Baylor's Quincy Miller (6-9, 200), who didn't make my mock but who could go as high as the mid-first round. After Slam magazine rated him the top prep prospect of the 2011 class in 2010, Miller tore his anterior cruciate ligament during his senior season at Westchester Country Day High in High Point, N.C., and saw his stock take a hit as a result. But he's heading in the right direction again, having averaged 10.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 24.4 minutes per game for the Bears while being named Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Year.
Denver is a real possibility for Miller at No. 20, though the Nuggets -- and quite a few other teams -- have their eyes on another combo forward as well: Iowa State's Royce White (who can play small and power forward but, at 6-8 and 270 pounds, will be undersized height-wise at the next level).
One to watch: Vanderbilt shooting guard John Jenkins is another prospect to keep an eye on, as he sees himself as the best shooter in the draft and reminds me of Golden State's Klay Thompson in that regard.
A year ago, Thompson wasn't afraid to rank himself above then-BYU guard Jimmer Fredette as the most dangerous marksman of them all. He struggled early while playing behind Warriors' go-to man Monta Ellis, but flourished when Ellis was traded to Milwaukee in mid-March en route to taking sixth place in the Rookie of the Year voting.
Jenkins has the same sort of confidence, and I could easily see him moving up the big board of a team with a need for another scorer. He's coming off a strong junior season, having led the Commodores in scoring at 19.9 points per game while shooting 54.2 percent overall and 43.9 from beyond the arc as a junior. He's a long-range specialist, to be sure, as two-thirds of his attempts came from three-point range (8.7 of 13.1 per game). Jenkins has already worked out for Denver (No. 20, No. 38 and No. 50), and said he is scheduled to return for a second Nuggets workout as well.