Nuggets Offseason: Exploring the NBA Draft


Part 12 of 14

That’s right people the Denver Nuggets

at least for right now

have a first round pick in the NBA Draft.

Of course that could change over the next month. But until than, the Nuggets have the 22nd pick in what could be considered one of the worst drafts in recent history. Some of the better freshman, Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes and Perry and Terrence Jones (no relation), have each dropped out due to the imposing NBA lockout. So the talent pole remains very slim.

And due to the dearth amount of talent in the draft the Nuggets likely won’t find a player that would contribute anytime soon and the only need they really could fill through the draft is a third point guard. But for a pick so late, their best option is to draft the best available talent or trade the pick for a better talent, and here are a few players the Nuggets may consider:

  • TOBIAS HARRIS, 6-8 223, Tennessee, Forward, 18 years old (19 in July), Freshman
    NBA Comparison: Kris Humphries, Ryan Gomes, Shane Battier, Glen Rice (don’t ask me, ask
    Harris is slated to go to the Nuggets in both Chad Ford’s Mock Draft and’s Mock Draft, but considering his age and basketball IQ he is undoubtedly rising in the draft and there are rumors that he will soon be a lottery lock. Harris’s game is slightly underrated, he has great size, an adequate scorer and has potential to be a top of the line defender at the next level.
    He is similar to Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith, only less athletic but with a better basketball IQ. Offensively, he is a better player than Smith. He can bring the ball up the court and is good driving to the basket. With his length he can be a mismatch at either forward position. The only downside is he is a below average shooter (not as bad as Smith), but he does have an awkward release and doesn’t have a lot of lift (if at all) on his jump shot. Defensively, he will be valuable due to size and versatility. Harris could be a starter in the League, but not next season.
  • KENNETH FARIED, 6-8 225, Morehead State, PF/C, 21 years old, Senior
    NBA Comparison: Udonis Haslem (without the range), Louis Amundson, Renaldo Balkman (only better) and a smaller Ronny Turiaf
    Faried was fairly unknown for much of the year, despite leading the nation in rebounding (14.5 a game). But come tournament time it was hard to ignore Faried. He led his school to the tournament and upset Louisville in the opening round, which was played at the Pepsi Center. And the Nuggets, like a number of teams in the League took notice and are looking at Faried.
    Like most of the playersd above, Faried is not an offensive player and gets by with his hustle and outworking opposing players. He has great athleticism and plays with a lot of heart, which helps him rebound the ball and also as a defender. He’ll never be a starter in the NBA, but just imagine what Balkman would have done if he was motivated and smarter? Faried is projected to go higher than the Nuggets pick in most mock drafts, but that could change as players drop and rise throughout the next month.
  • BISMACK BIYOMBO, 6-9 243, Congo, PF/C, 18 years old
    NBA Comparison: Ben Wallace, Taj Gibson, Larry Sanders
    Biyombo jumped onto national attention with his play at the 2011 Nike Hoops Summit. He has impressive athleticism and length and had many scouts drooling at his potential. He has great maturity and is very coachable for an 18 year old and has shown he can dominate the game on the defensive side of the ball with his superior shot blocking and rebounding. However, come draft day his stock may drop due to the questions surrounding his age. Some believe he is closer to 23 or 24 and if so he could tumble in the draft like Maciej Lampe and DeJuan Blair. If he really is 18 and is there at the 22nd pick, he wouldn’t be a bad project for the Nuggets. As we all know the Nuggets need an intimidator on the inside and Biyomob has the potential to fill that need in the future.
  • JORDAN HAMILTON, 6-9, 228, Texas, SF/SG, 20 years old, Sophomore
    NBA comparison: Cedric Ceballos, Stephen Jackson, Reggie Williams (only bigger and not the former Denver Nugget), Walt Williams
    On most mock drafts, Hamilton is listed between 15-20 which down right ridiculous. He is probably one of the most ready players in the NBA, who can score and play defense. He may not have as good of a ceiling as other in the draft, but he can score in the NBA and is intelligent enough to be a good role player for a playoff team.
    He won’t wow you in any department of the game, but it’s hard to find a weakness to his game either. He is an above average scorer, who can shoot the ball and also drive to the basket. He is a good rebounder and not a bad passer and he will never be a lockdown defender, but he isn’t a terrible defender either. Like Wilson Chandler, he favors going right and will have to learn how to adapt when defenses take that away from him. If Hamilton drops in the draft, he’ll be a huge steal for teams like San Antonio, Chicago or Miami.
  • REGGIE JACKSON, 6-3 208, Boston College, PG, 21 years old, Junior
    NBA Comparison: George Hill, Garrett Temple
    DraftExpress has Jackson going to the Nuggets at the 22nd pick, which isn’t surprising since Jackson is another born and bred point guard from Denver (Colorado Springs to be exact), of course he isn’t quite the fan favorite that Chauncey Billups is (but who is?). Jackson has great physique to be a modern NBA point guard. Great size, great athleticism, huge wingspan (listed at 7-feet) and an ability to get the basket or find an open teammate.
    Jackson could potentially be another Rodney Stuckey. Maybe not quite the scorer, but a better distributer. Of course, Stuckey went to Eastern Washington where his best option was to score not pass. Jackson, on the other hand, played for a far better team at Boston College, which his best attribute was passing the ball. It will take him a while to catch on in the NBA if at all but due to his length and athleticism he may be able to get minutes thanks in part to his defense. That is what is going to get him drafted and may be his main calling at the next level. Shooting on the other hand may be the reason why he drops in the draft.
  • DARIUS MORRIS, 6-5 190, Michigan, PG, 20 years old, Sophomore
    NBA Comparison: Andre Miller, Mustafa Shakur.
    Morris may not be the sexy pick, in fact how many people knew who he was before the NCAA Tournament? And how many know who he is now? Despite his size, Morris is a distributer first and scorer second. And he improved his game greatly in his second season with the Wolverines. He was more confident with the ball and became a better creator. He doesn’t have great range, but he gets by with craftiness. He isn’t a great defender, but he has great speed and size to guard both the guard positions. If there is a player that may be a perfect pick for the Nuggets it is Morris. His size and ballhandling skills would be a great fit for years to come as Ty Lawson’s backup and for George Karl, who loves playing point guards together.
  • JORDAN WILLIAMS, 6-9 247, Maryland, C/PF, 20 years old, Sophomore
    NBA Comparison: Carlos Boozer, Sean May
    Williams is an interesting prospect. He has great size, averaged a double-double at one of the better ACC schools and is still a rather unknown in a rather weak 2011 Draft.
    Boozer may be the better comparison. Great touch around the basket, who has a great back-to-basket game. He gets most of his points on post ups, cuts and offensive rebounds, but is a below average passer.
    One of the biggest questions about Williams is if he can stay in shape, but he lost 10 pounds going into the Draft Combine and hasn’t lost any strength. Not sure he’ll be able to help a team immediately, but everything they are saying about Williams was what they said about Boozer in 2002, who fell to second round and turned into an All-Star.
  • JOSH SELBY, 6-3 195, Kansas, PG, 20 years old, Freshman
    NBA Comparison: Willie Warren, Jerryd Bayless, Bobby Jackson, Dajuan Wagner, Monte Ellis
    Selby may have the highest ceiling of anybody player that is projected to go late in the draft. He is a very explosive player, who despite his size can get to the basket against practically anybody. Has great toughness and can handle the ball, shoot and pass. Probably the best comparison may be a more athletic and not as good of a shooter as Jason Terry. Has questionable attitude, but is very competitive and that is what most coaches want. He was suspended for the first nine games of his freshman season and could never crack Kansas’s rotation which has hurt his draft stock and could be the Nuggets gain.
  • Justin Harper, 6-9 228, Richmond, PF, 22 years old old, Senior
    NBA Comparison: Channing Frye, Vladimir Radmanovic
    Harper is a typical spread the floor big man, he can handle the ball and grab a few rebounds.
    That will be his role in the NBA and no doubt a team like the Nuggets or Spurs would use a later first round pick on him.