4 NCAA Tournament prospects Nuggets fans can watch as potential Nikola Jokic backup

Wisconsin v Purdue
Wisconsin v Purdue / David Berding/GettyImages
2 of 5

Kyle Filipowski, Duke

Filipowski is a legit 7 footer with perimeter skills. He can handle the ball and playmake, with a little bit of shooting touch, but he can also still bang down low and finish around the rim. He also has a high basketball IQ and has been a huge part of winning.

He could get pushed around on defense and struggle against elite NBA bigs, but in a backup role he could bring a great flair to the Nuggets second unit, and if his shooting improves he could possibly even play next to Jokic.

Filipowski will lead the Blue Devils into the NCAA Tournament as a 4 seed in the South region. They’ll take on the 13th-seeded Catamounts of Vermont in round one on Friday. If they can get through that one they’ll take on the winner of Wisconsin/James Madison, then likely a Sweet 16 date with the 1 seed, Houston Cougars.

If Duke makes a deep run and Filipowski looks good, he likely won’t last until the end of the first round, and could even play his way into the late lottery. But if they get upset by Vermont, or he looks overmatched against a team like Houston, NBA teams may be wary.

Nuggets fans should oddly almost be rooting for a poor showing in the tourney from the 20-year-old Dukie. Otherwise, he may not be available for the team to draft.