Evan Fournier and Quincy Miller aren’t going to help the Denver Nuggets win the NBA Finals next year, but it brightens the franchise’s future.
The young duo are both young prospects with a very bright futures. Sure they don’t match the attractiveness of last season’s draft picks of Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton, but their ceiling is much higher.
Both prospects are 19 years old with an advanced skill level. Fournier may be the more NBA-ready player and while Nuggets fans weren’t exactly thrilled with Fournier pick, it’s tough to see a big weakness in Fournier’s game. He has great size, solid athleticism, a good jump shot and can score with the best of them. He also has a mature level of understanding of the game and should continue to develop facets to the game.
In fact, Denver Nuggets Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri had this to say about the French star:
He’s very confident. His game is the same way. He doesn’t back down.
Fournier, who was 24 on our big board, showed off his talents at the Eurocamp earlier this month. He scored 12 points with ease, creating his shot and also showing off good court vision.
There is a chance that Fournier may be on the Nuggets roster this season and his desire is to play in the NBA this season. However, it might be more beneficial for him to stay overseas (he signed contract extension with Poitiers Basket through 2013). Denver is considering Jordan Hamilton as their rookie this season and will see how Fournier fits into the rotation next season.
In the long run the Nuggets will have a logjam at shooting guard (much like they currently do at small forward) with Arron Afflalo, Hamilton and Fournier.
Miller has the bigger upside of the two players, his game and size is great for the pro level. As long as he proves he can stay healthy and eagerness to get better, Miller may be the biggest find in the 2012 Draft.
Ujiri said this about Miller after the draft:
This was a top five high school player in America, a McDonald’s All-American, we feel like we got a pretty good young player. 19 years old, he blew his knee out and that’s why he (is where he is). He struggled a little bit coming off his ACL (tear) his freshman year at Baylor. We followed him quite a bit. Seeing him play when he was younger, I saw him play in the American championships. He played with Austin Rivers and all of those guys and he was the best player on the team. I even saw him hit a game winner for Team USA (2010 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship) in San Antonio (Texas). He was a fantastic player until he blew out his knee in December (2010). It has kind of kept him down the last year.
Miller and Fournier join a Nuggets squad which currently has six players under the age of 24.
They aren’t the sexiest players in the draft, but it’s tough to find two that have a much higher stock.