Quincy Miller, the freshman from Baylor with the skill set and versatility to play every position from the 2 to the 4, looks like a steal in the mid-to-late stages of the first round of the 2012 NBA draft.
The 6'9", 210-pound forward is a scorer who can stroke it from the perimeter or get to the rim and has shown great promise as both a rebounder and a shot-blocker. He may be a little bit green, having played just one season for the Bears coming off an ACL injury suffered during his senior year in high school.
Still, he showed flashes of such brilliance this year that if patience is required as far as his development is concerned, he should be worth the wait.
What Miller Brings to the Team
Miller is a multi-dimensional talent who, according to ESPN's Chad Ford, is seen by some scouts as a potential top-10 pick, quoting one as saying, "once he's 100 percent and has his full athletic ability back and is 100 percent you'd have to seriously consider him (to go in the top-10)."
Whether he's truly back yet or not, what Miller beings to the table is scoring ability from anywhere on the floor. He proved adept this past season at getting the ball in the post, on the perimeter, coming off picks or in isolation sets. He went for a season-high 29 on 12-of-17 shooting in a January game against then top-five ranked Missouri and shot 41 percent from long distance for the year.
Additionally, he's a very capable ball-handler, particularly for someone his size. Given the polish on his offensive game already, as he continues to fill out and add strength, it should only improve.
What Experts are Saying
Miller will likely need time to grow as his frame isn't quite ready for the nightly pounding of an NBA season. Still, his ability to score will carry him as he develops both his body and his game. Draft Express, which has Miller going 18th overall in its last mock draft, notes Miller's skill level and "physical tools" as keys to his offensive ability.
"While he isn't the most dynamic athlete and looks to still be getting some of his explosiveness back after his knee injury, he moves very fluidly for a player his size, looking comfortable playing the perimeter on both ends of the floor."
Given the need for Miller to have time to develop as an NBA player, perhaps needing a bit more time to regain his pre-injury form will work in his favor.
Miller appears destined to live rookie life firmly entrenched on the second unit thanks to his physical limitations. If he's healthy, there's no reason to assume he won't get some run in the early going, particularly if he performs well in training camp. The jury is out, though, on how long or well he holds up to the rigors of a full NBA season.
How far can Quincy Miller go as an NBA player?
Look for Miller to come off the bench for 12-18 minutes per night and average seven or eight points and three or four rebounds a game.
This pick could be a home run for Denver—a couple of years down the road. Miller has the potential to be an impact player thanks to his skills and versatility. He's long, he's shifty and he has a bevy of weapons in his offensive arsenal.
By the same token, his arms and his reach give him a couple of tools to be a very good perimeter defender should he choose to be one. How hard he works—both to come back 100 percent from his knee injury and to get bigger and stronger—will determine his future with the Nuggets.
Check back with Miller in time for the 2014 season. By then, we should have a solid read on where he stands as an NBA player.