The 2012 NBA Draft is loaded with talent from top to bottom, but there are just a few players that would be the ideal fit for the Nuggets’ up and down pace. Ironically some of them are from George Karl’s alma mater UNC.
TYLER ZELLER: Zeller doesn’t have the ceiling that many of the other prospects have, but he is also one of the few players that can play right away. The four-year star from UNC lacks JaVale McGee’s athleticism and the size of Timofey Mozgov, but he is one of the quickest big men in the game. He has a very skilled post game to go with a high basketball IQ and is the ultimate teammate. He isn’t a great defender, but is a very good one. It also doesn’t hurt that he has UNC-connections. Zeller would give the Nuggets a viable center and would allow them to continue to bring McGee off the bench, where he was most successful last season.
JOHN JENKINS: Shooting was one of Denver’s biggest weaknesses last year and Jenkins would definitely help. The Vanderbilt guard does one thing really well and that is shooting the ball. He is by far the best shooter in the draft, one that can get his shot off at any moment. He has been compared to JJ Redick and Dell Curry, the former actually played for Karl in Milwaukee. He worked out twice with the Nuggets and has a good relationship with Nuggets’ reserve Corey Brewer.
JOHN HENSON: Henson is a poor man’s Anthony Davis; he has go-go gadget arms (7-foot-6 wingspan) and can defend every position on the floor. He has been compared to former Nugget center Marcus Camby, due to his shot-blocking prowess and rebounding. He still struggles offensively and a dismal free throw shooter, but seeing how successful McGee was inDenver’s offense should at least help Henson’s offense. The Nuggets showed a lot of interest in Luc Mbah a Moute and Henson could become a similar type of player in the NBA.
TERRENCE JONES: There are questions about Jones’ drive, but his entire game is well defined. He can step out and shoot a three, as well as score in the post. He also showed a willingness to defend; he was responsible for defending Thomas Robinson in the NCAA title game. His versatility on defense helps him to defend the post as well as on the perimeter. If drafted by the Nuggets it is doubtful he will see time on the floor, much like Jordan Hamilton last season. However, in time Jones could fit into Al Harrington’s role off the bench.
QUINCY MILLER: The talented 19-year-old small forward is a few years away from contributing, but his potential is as high as any player in the draft. He is still recovering from the ACL injury he suffered in high school, but a number of scouts believe he is one of the most talented players in the draft. Some even consider him as a poor man’s Kevin Durant. The Nuggets could use a player with Durant’s ability, but they also have the advantage of stashing a player on their bench for a year or two to develop.