I make no bones about it, I came away impressed with the Nuggets workout of Zach LaVine on Saturday.
I was, quite frankly, unconvinced that his athleticism could overcome his slight frame. Didn't trust his playmaking and thought he was prone to poor decisions. Obviously my bias against college basketball was showing in my mistrust and skepticism about his youth. However, LaVine's workout was very impressive and he stood head and shoulders above the other players brought in (which included James Young and point guard Tyler Ennis).
If you missed the CSG video on the Zach LaVine highlights, here it is
That's a small sample size of what the assembled media throng saw that day. It's not as if Young and Ennis weren't impressive in their own way, it's just that LaVine was the standout.
This leads to to wonder what the Nuggets will do on Thursday, June 26th. Signals were given out to the media that maybe the Nuggets could trade the pick. Then there were (unsubstantiated) rumors that the Nuggets would trade back with the Chicago Bulls for the 16th and 19th pick. This makes little actual sense from the Nuggets perspective but makes a whole bunch of sense from the Bulls perspective. So that may give you a little indication of the nature of that particular rumor.
The fact that the Nuggets/Bulls pick swap rumor got so much play is an indication that there is real, tangible confusion about what the Nuggets actually intend to do on draft night. While us media schleps were impressed with LaVine on Saturday, the Nuggets were far more difficult to read ... and have given very little indication as to which way they intend to go ... which has added to the twinge of excitement you are feeling right now as the team approaches draft day.
Nik Stauskas will be working out with 4 teams, none of which include the Nuggets. This shouldn't put anyone off, as draft picks will often avoid teams that are at the back end of the lottery in workouts if they believe they are projected to go higher. Nuggets have also not worked out Doug McDermott. It's just the way things go with these workouts. There is alot of cat and mouse, and quite unseemly leaks (ie: Julius Randle foot surgery leaks). Often this stuff is put out there to influence draft position from both agents and teams. So, it's a mine field of information out there, particularly in a stacked (at the very top) draft.
Back to the Nuggets. We don't know what they will do. Will they go the safe route and take Gary Harris at the 11th pick? Will they get a bit riskier and take LaVine? Is there someone out there who believes in James Young and wants the Nuggets to take him at 11? Do the Nuggets combine their pick with a player and move UP? Will they move back (for one pick) and draft a player they don't feel they have to reach for? Will the Nuggets trade out of the draft completely?
No one knows. If you ask 10 people you will get 10 different answers. I suppose that's the fun of it and on June 26th it will be extremely interesting to see where the Nuggets go.