The Denver Nuggets picked the Spanish forward Juancho Hernangomez with the 15th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, adding another player to their roster that has an ability to make outside shots.
While it is likely that Hernangomez does not play for the Nuggets this upcoming season, he should continue to develop his ability to rebound and shoot from the perimeter. Here are a few things to know about one of the newest Denver Nuggets.
His brother was drafted by the New York Knicks
The number of people that successfully make it to the NBA are few, and the number of NBA players that are siblings is even fewer. Juan's older brother, Guillermo "Willy" Hernangomez, was selected with the 35th overall pick in the 2015 draft, and signed with the Knickerboxers.
Willy played for Cajasol Sevilla in Spain with another 2015 draft pick by the Knicks - Kristaps Porzingis.
Basketball runs in his families veins, with his father playing professionally in the 1980s, and his sister plays in Spain as well.
He's no pasty
Hernangomez played center for Estudiantes, anchoring the post for his team in one of the best international leagues in the world. That meant that he was playing out of position, as his body is more of a stretch-four or small forward in the NBA. But it did allow him to learn how to be physical, and he responded by putting up good rebounding numbers. He had per 40 minutes averages of 16.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Hernangomez wasn't much of a shot blocker, and Estudiantes defense was below average in the league. But with the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic or Jusuf Nurkic should be patrolling the paint for him, which will allow him to use his speed to help mark players on the perimeter rather than provide rim protection and help defense.
How do you say "Buckets" in Spanish?
Hernangomez was drafted to help the Nuggets space the floor from the power forward position. He's a very good pick and pop player, with the strength to set screens and the footwork to leap open for a jump shot. He projects to be about a 35 percent shooter on 3-point attempts in the NBA, which should be a good enough rate to make defenders stay out of the paint and honor his jumper.
If the defense is able to close out on him, he's shown an ability to attack the rim, draw contact, and get to the free throw line. As a threat to shoot, drive, and pass from the perimeter, he should be a good scoring option for the Nuggets.
Get on the floor
It may be something about having a lot of family members that will rib him for not playing hard, but Hernangomez has a great motor when he plays. He hustles for loose balls, scraps for rebounds, and goes 100 kilometers per hour when he plays.
That hustle also shows up on defense. He played out of position, as mentioned earlier, but he didn't allow that to distract him during games. He was alert, did what he was asked and a little more. I'm sure that will be appealing to Michael Malone, who is known to enjoy having hustle players that compete on both ends on his team.
Statistical projections love him
Kevin Pelton, an ESPN contributor, has published a "Stats Big Board" for the last few years, attempting to project how prospects will perform once they reach the NBA. In this year's edition, Hernangomez was the 4th-best prospect in Pelton's projections. While it's not an exact science, perhaps the contributions of Layne Vashro and the Nuggets statistical department helped with this selection.