2012 NBA Draft: 10 High-Level Prospects the Denver Nuggets Must Target
A number of the team’s young players seemed to come into their own during that series, most notably Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried. With Wilson Chandler coming back from injury to play with Danilo Gallinari and Al Harrington, the real weakness of the team is its depth along the front line and in the backcourt.
If the Nuggets can re-sign savvy veteran Andre Miller, their immediate needs are size, depth and scoring ability in the low block and a premiere scorer at the 2-guard.
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Fab Melo is a player who, luckily for the Nuggets, has been undervalued throughout the draft process due to his suspension from the NCAA tournament in 2012.
Therefore, he will likely be available with the 20th pick in the draft. He is a big, extremely athletic center whose offensive skill set is still developing, but whose defensive prowess would greatly help the Nuggets.
Under George Karl, the Nuggets are a team that likes to run the court, and Melo is big enough, athletic enough and has enough offensive talent to dominate in that type of scheme.
With some offensive coaching, Melo could also greatly improve the Nuggets' half-court offensive set. While there are certainly better centers in this draft, for the Nuggets at No. 20, Melo makes a lot of sense and would instantly improve the team’s frontcourt.
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Depending on how well Wilson Chandler’s return to the NBA goes, the Nuggets desperately need a premiere scorer, and Dion Waiters is just that.
He is very fast, gets to the rim easily on a regular basis and finishes well—he would be very dangerous as a 2-guard playing alongside Ty Lawson.
While his jump shot can be a bit inconsistent, it surely will develop in time, just as it did over his career at Syracuse. Ultimately, the guy is a scoring machine who is ready for the NBA.
Consequently it is a bit too hopeful to think that he will be around at the 20th pick, but you never know in the draft, and there is always the possibility of the Nuggets trading up.
This guy would be a great fit for a young, fast and extremely athletic Nuggets team and would provide it with a consistent and reliable scoring option, especially late in games.
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Though Jared Sullinger lacks the ideal size for a power forward or center in the NBA, he is a grinder who always plays hard and is extraordinarily talented in the low post.
Sullinger could be a vital part of the Nuggets half-court offense due to his natural ability in the post as well as to face up and hit mid-range jumpers.
However, he has some concerns regarding conditioning, which would greatly reduce his impact not only in Denver’s potent transition, but also late in games. Nevertheless, he is a terrific rebounder and a very smart basketball player that would drastically improve the Nuggets.
His draft status has dropped off a little since last year, when he was projected as the No. 1 pick, so he may be available with the 20th pick.
If the Nuggets can land him, they should be very happy, for he is one of the elite players coming out of this year's draft and should make an immediate impact on the team.
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Terrence Jones is an explosive and versatile athlete who plays great defense, is an intelligent passer, has a decent jump shot with good range and could produce huge numbers running in transition with Ty Lawson.
While he lacks both the ideal size and the premiere scoring ability that the Nuggets are looking for, if he is around at the 20th pick, the team must absolutely consider picking him up.
Jones is an amazing athlete whose game encapsulates every aspect of being a great basketball player.
He is quick, can handle the ball, create his own shot off the dribble or in the post, is a good passer and jumps through the roof—the only downside to his game is mental, which, hopefully, will come with maturity.
Jones was guilty of taking plays off or forcing unnecessary plays when frustrated at Kentucky, and he consequently never quite lived up to his potential. He is definitely a project, but one that could develop into an all-around superstar in the NBA.
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Jeremy Lamb would be a great fit for the Nuggets.
He would provide the team with tremendous depth at the 2-guard position, playing with veteran Arron Afflalo and Jordan Hamilton, and would instantly give the team a premiere scoring option.
He can create his own shot from almost anywhere on the court, has developed a consistent mid-range jumper, shoots the three ball fairly well and is a fantastic finisher at the rim.
In addition, due to his freakish seven-foot wingspan, he is anything but a liability on defense.
There is no question that Lamb is an elite player at the 2-guard position and therefore will likely be gone by the time the Nuggets are on the clock.
However, he is another player the team may be interested in trading up a few spots for.
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Draymond Green does everything on the court.
Even though he played center last year for Tom Izzo and the Spartans at only 6’8’’, he would routinely carry the ball up the court and direct the offense as a point guard.
This guy has everything you look for in a player coming out of the draft—endless work ethic, terrific leadership qualities, a very impressive basketball IQ and a deep love for the game.
He is a little undersized—even to play power forward in the NBA—and is not the most explosive athlete. However, Green has a great jump shot for a big man and is a phenomenal passer.
The Nuggets must consider drafting him, as by the 20th pick, the draft class could be void of another big man like Green—a player that could be a leader for the Nuggets’ young frontcourt both offensively and defensively and invigorate the entire team.
He is certainly not ideal, but he'd be a great pick nonetheless.
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Tyshawn Taylor is an all-around scoring guard. He needs to develop a more consistent jump shot, but his athletic ability is off the charts.
He effortlessly reaches the rim, is a good finisher and a high-quality passer with a lofty basketball IQ. Taylor’s only real downside is his jumper. He shot 47.7 percent from the field last year but struggled mightily from the floor throughout March Madness, especially from long distance.
Luckily for the Nuggets, this dropped his draft status to the point where he could very likely be around at the 20th pick. However, he would definitely be a project for the Nuggets, which they already have in Jordan Hamilton.
But, if they could trade Hamilton or Timofey Mozgov and acquire another pick, Taylor could be an interesting option, as the kid has serious potential.
Perry Jones III
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Perry Jones’ draft status dropped off a bit after a poor performance during March Madness, but the guy is a potential superstar. He can really do it all.
He has good size at 6’11’’, 234 pounds but runs the floor extremely well, can score from anywhere on the court and is a good rebounder as well as defender.
The only knock against Jones is that his play has been erratic throughout his career at Baylor. He can be rather passive at points offensively and simply did not live up to his high potential on a nightly basis.
While his nightly effort is a concern, if he drops to the 20th pick, the Nuggets will have a very easy decision to make. This guy is crazy athletic and extremely talented—with a few years to mature in the NBA, he will be a force to reckon with.
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John Henson would be the perfect pick for the Nuggets.
He is long (7’5’’ wingspan), athletic and very talented. Because of his build and athleticism, he is one of the best shot-blockers in the draft. While playing for Roy Williams at UNC, he learned to play and understand how to create and dominate within the fast break.
He would give Denver’s front line very good depth and shot-blocking prowess alongside JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried and could very easily become a 10-year starter in the NBA with his offensive skill set.
He immediately improves the Nuggets as a team, especially in the half-court offense, and could very well help the team get over the hump and win a playoff series.
Henson will definitely not be available with the 20th pick, but he is more than worth trading up for.
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Other than John Henson, Arnett Moultrie is the player I would have the Nuggets draft.
He is big—6’11’’, 233 pounds—shockingly athletic for his size, a dominating rebounder, especially offensively, and possesses a good jump shot for a big man.
He also runs the court very well for his size, and with some work, could become a dominant player in the low-post, half-court offense.
He needs to add strength in order to become more consistent on the low block and also improve his free-throw shooting. However, he is exactly what the Nuggets are looking for, and he should be available at the 20th pick.
Barring any trades to move up in the draft, Moultrie is the most logical pick for the Nugs.