Nuggets Draft: Nicolas Batum, Bet On It!

Sean StancillSenior Writer IJune 21, 2008

After Ty Lawson decided to pull out of the NBA Draft, within hours of the expected deadline, the Denver Nuggets must now turn their attention elsewhere in hopes of finding the right player in the draft.

Luckily, for the Nuggets, they have a few to choose from.

One of them is International Star Nicolaus Batum, who's been a superstar in France and a Gold medal winner at the U18 World Championships.

Batum is 6-foot-9, 215 lbs and can play both SF and PF, but looks to have enough control to play shooting guard.

From what I've seen in highlights and in scouting reports is that Batum is aggressive, a good scorer, posses length and agility, and the athleticism to play in the NBA.

Nicolaus had previously been rumored as a top 15 selection, but after a series of lackluster workouts, some believe he'll fall near the bottom of the first round.

Why Would Nicolaus Batum work with the Nuggets?

1. Leandro Barbosa, Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Manu Ginobili, Jose Calderon; a small list of International players that have made big contributions and major impacts on their teams during their career.

While there also have been several busts: Andrea Bargnai, Darko Milic, Shawn Bradley, more have foreign players have succeeded in the pros rather than failed.

2. The Nuggets need another power forward. Nor Nene or Kenyon Martin has been able to find insect repellent for the injury bug and frankly, neither is worth their outlandish deals.

3. Denver needs a facilitator. Iverson attempts to become the conductor, but he simply cannot ignore his shoot first roots. Carmelo Anthony does a good job, but he won’t play every single minute of the 2008-09 season.

Nicolaus Batum has the pure talent, to dictate the offensive tempo, take shots within offensive flow, score a crucial bucket, or put the team on his shoulders if need be.

4. Denver lacks low post scoring. Marcus Camby and Kenyon Marton's offensive games are almost a travesty, which means that the Nuggets heavily rely on Iverson and Anthony.

Batum posses the skill set to become an effective low post scorer and jump shooter. He can penetrate through defenders, slice through double teams, get to the paint, and draw contact.

Overall, I believe Denver should draft Batum if they are looking for a forward that can step in and immediately change the game.

The NBA Draft is Thursday, June 26