Nuggets work out shooting guards Ross, Jenkins

On Tuesday, May 22, the Nuggets worked out two of the better shooting guards in the 2012 NBA Draft class: Terrence Ross from Washington and John Jenkins from Vanderbilt. Ross is a 6-6 sophomore who’s extremely athletic and has made large strides in his defense. Meanwhile Jenkins is a 6-4 junior, known as perhaps the best pure shooter in all of college basketball this past season. Though each is comprised of their own individual basketball DNA, they both share a common bond in that they’re shooters who are somewhat limited in other areas of the game.

Ross is slated to drop somewhere in the mid to late teens while Jenkins is seen as a late first to early second rounder. With the 20th and 37th picks in the draft, there’s a good chance that both Jenkins and Ross will be off the board by the time the Nuggets select. What this pre-draft workout may tell us, more than anything, is that the Nuggets are likely looking to address an area of need at the backup guard position with one of their three picks in the draft.

My candid thoughts on these players and the Nuggets draft strategy is this: First, I like both of these guys. Ross certainly has more”upside” given his athleticism and apparent penchant for playing defense. He also possesses bit more versatility in terms of how he can put points up on the board. That said, the better fit for the Nuggets, and where they’ll get more value, is with Jenkins. What the Nuggets are saying by working out these two players is that they’re in search of a sharpshooter. If that’s the case, you want Jenkins. Though Ross can light it up from beyond the arc, he’s just not in the same category as Jenkins in terms of pure shooting ability. I’m not sure where I read it, but I remember coming across some form of media last year that told of Jenkins once knocking down 20 straight 3-pointers in practice.

Don’t get me wrong; if the Nuggets drafted Ross with the 20th pick you probably won’t see me complaining. At 20, that’s good value for the type of skill set and ceiling he possesses. But… it’s absolutely paramount that the Nuggets draft the best player available (BPA) instead of a team need in the first round, just as every team should. This is going to be a historic draft, especially in terms of depth with the first 35 picks or so. The Nuggets absolutely cannot afford to reach for a need ahead of talent even if it’s at a position like point guard, small forward or power forward where the team seems to be set for the foreseeable future.

If the Nuggets can somehow manage to land Jenkins with the 37th pick that would have to be considered a steal. The good thing is that even if the team misses on Jenkins and Ross there will still likely be several shooting guards available for the Nuggets to select from. Either way, fans should be more than comfortable with Masai Ujiri at the helm, especially after last year’s draft.

The following two tabs change content below.

Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • DAN

    Kalen What is your take on Dre, should we keep him or target a player like Marshall?(a Dre clone)
    That said I agree with the premise of BPA. The catch is we already have a crowded front court. If a player like Meyers Leonard dropped to 20 would you advise taking him?

    Looking forward to your draft breakdown and hoping this years draft is as good as last.

    • Kalen

      I’d pass on Dre strictly for financial reasons. He’s gonna cost at least $5 mil to retain. I just think with a young, energetic point guard already here, there’s no reason to be paying a backup that much money. But that’s just me. That said, if a point guard like Marshall or Wroten was the BPA at 20, I wouldn’t gripe if the Nuggets took them. Personally, I’d love to see Stone get a chance. I know his scoring is worrisome but his defense and court vision should make up for it. Plus, it’s not like the Nuggets need scoring. It’s defense where they’re lacking.

      • Greg

        I agree with regards to Stone; I absolutely loved watching him in his limited action as he just shows some veteran savvy that is rare in a young player. That being said, Masai seems pretty determined to keep the core of this team intact and I have to believe that includes Dre. I actually think he may return for a bit cheaper if the nuggets were one of the better teams looking at him, maybe closer to 3-4 mill. I don’t think PG is a position to worry too much about though with Ty (presuming he gets locked up for a few more years)

  • Nuggz35

    Nuggets should draft Terrence Ross, if they gotta move up then thats what they gotta do. He is exactly what the Nuggets need, a shooter. He is the perfect fit for the Nuggets too because he runs the floor well, is long and athletic. He finished hard around the rim and would be a great asset to come off the bench assuming GK doesnt bully the kid.
    Dre needs to stay if the price is right, he is arguably the best backup PG in the game right now. He makes JaVale McGee so much better and he will make a player like Ross or Jenkins great by hitting them for wide open shots. If Dre doesnt stay we are still in good shape cuz Stone always looks to pass and has great awareness and can also find them for the open shot. I like how Dre can create, but if he is too expensive then let him walk. Im not sure what we should trade for the pick if we need to move up to get Ross but Im sure Ujiri has plans. As far as Fernandez, we should let him walk IMO. Yes, he had some great plays. He wasnt as consistent as we thought he was and he got injured and if we draft Ross or Jenkins there will be no room left for him on the roster with Ross/Jenkins/Chandler/Hamilton/Brewer. I’m excited to see what pans out in this draft!
    Go Nuggets!!

  • ryanvdonk

    how about actually giving jordan hamilton some playing time at shooting guard? considering he has shown the ability to shoot from distance and score in other ways (and at 6’7″ gives us a little size at the position) he should definitely get a fair look.

    • Ryan

      Agreed. With a full offseason and summer league under his belt, Hamilton may be the sharpshooter that we’re looking for. He also has the length and size to be a solid defender at the SG position.

      • Thomas

        Pray that Karl’s protege’s get hurt – that’t the only hope for Hamilton to get significant minutes.

        Talk about drafting shooting guards with Karl as head coach is a waste of time. They will not play, so why bother?

        Our playoff performance this year handcuffed our chances for success moving forward. We will have Karl, therefore we will have Andre, we will have Harrington, we will have two point guard line-ups, we will have no defense, we will have no shot at causing noise in the playoffs.

        Unfortunately, it is all very predictable. Whoever expects a different outcome under GK’s leadership has to have their head examined.

        • sam

          the nuggets don’t even make it to seven games without GK as the coach. im not saying that the two PG lineup hasn’t frustrated all season, but who can you honestly suggest as a coach at this point that would have coached us past the lakers, or better than the 6th seed in the west?

          • Thomas

            Any coach that would have given Faried 35+ minutes per game and had a real center for all 48 minutes per game in the playoffs, while playing one PG at a time so that we have a cohesive defensive unit.

            Any coach that would have limited Harrington to less than 15 minutes per game and less than 10 shots.

            Finally, any coach that would have inserted Hamilton in the game in an effort to find a shooting touch – something we sorely missed.

            This view that Karl allowed us to get to where we got is old and absolutely incorrect.

            • Henry aka LWH and formerly KFH

              Thomas, thanks for this direct, specific, spot-on answer to sam’s question. It seems so clear to so many of us, yet we don’t prevail. I guess that, after beating my head bloody over all this, I’ve come to the conclusion that reasonable observers can disagree over some of these issues.

              But please: can’t we get a tad more traditional with the rotation? We have the horses to make it work! Arg.

  • Ryan

    My hope is that some team that desperately needs a starting PG (Phoenix post-Nash or GSW maybe?) overpays Dre so Stone can finally get a chance. Stone is the perfect complement to Lawson at almost every level and will presumably only get better during the offseason/summer league/training camp.
    Kudos to the the front office for noting that the number 1 reason why we lost to the Lakers is that we don’t have a solid 3 point shooter. I disagree with the BPA argument, especially with GK as the coach. If we draft a C or PF, they are going to be buried on the depth chart and won’t play because of GK’s hate for rookies and love of small ball. The Spurs don’t take the BPA, they take the player that best fits their system (e.g. George Hill, Tiago Splitter, trade for Kawhi Leonard). Right now, the Nuggets need a shooter to complement what Lawson does with dribble penetration, so they should draft the best one available at 20.

    • Henry aka LWH and formerly KFH

      BPA can become an asset to fill roster needs. Isn’t that part of the logic? And of course if the BPA is a huge-impact-now type, the roster can be modified to incorporate him.

      • Henry aka LWH and formerly KFH

        Meant to also say that your point about Karl w/r/t BPA is well taken.

  • http://nugznazty.wordpress.com/ owen

    i really wish we’d let dre walk and draft kendall marshall. that’s our best chance to upgrade. then we let jham play backup sg. he’s our smith replacement with a better attitude….

  • DAN

    I love Marshall, think he is going to be special. And at 6′ 4″ he wouldn’t be exposed when Karl goes small ball. He wont be there at 20 though.

  • Michael

    Kalen,

    Do you think that Jordan Hamilton might be that shooter that the nuggets are searching for? Its definitely a grey area considering the amount of minutes he played this year, but I was at the clippers game in which he broke out, and his shooting stroke looks very fluid. In his limited minutes he showed a very good shooting stroke. His shot selection is questionable at times though.

    • Kalen

      Hamilton is definitely a shooter and can stroke it from long range. We saw that in his limited minutes this season. But I think the Nuggets are looking for a top-of-the-line, 3-point specialist. Someone along the lines of Novak, Korver, etc. I don’t think it makes much sense to add another guy just because he can shoot from distance. Between Harrington, Chandler, Lawson, Afflalo, Gallinari and Hamilton the Nuggets already have a ton of guys who can knock down the long-range shot. What they need is someone who’s sole job is to hit those big-time clutch 3-pointers in the playoffs. That’s my take at least.

      • sam

        yes plenty of range during practice. the most telling story of this season was how poorly the nuggs shot the 3-ball, and how bad we defended it.

  • microbrew

    First time reader first time poster. Noticed RMC was part of ESPN 5 on 5. I’m a regular at the Post Nuggets discussions.

    Not sure how this works–looks like fans respond to you two directly instead of to each other. If so, probably a wise move.

    Kalen mentioned we’re set at power forward. Could you explain that take a little more? Harrington isn’t a power forward–he’s a 3 at heart that looks like a 4. Faried can’t shoot outside of 3 feet at this point and doesn’t have any significant and reliable low post moves. I don’t think we’re set at the 4 by any means. I actually think that position is one of our major weaknesses.

    • Kalen

      Welcome microbrew! Glad to have you. You have a fair assessment and one I’d probably agree with. The thing is, fans love Faried, management loves Faried and even Karl appears to love Faried. He just made All-Rookie First team and put up some pretty gaudy numbers in the process. He’s got a LOT of work to do, but the consensus seems to be that he’ll do anything it takes to succeed. His intangibles are incredible too. For all these reasons, the Nuggets appear to be satisfied moving forward with him at the power forward position. What I am arguing however, is that if the Nuggets come across a power forward (or point guard, or small forward, or whatever position it may be) in the draft who’s the best player available, they shouldn’t hesitate one bit to take him just because they think they’re already set. I love Faried just as much as the next guy, in fact, I was one of the earliest advocates of drafting him last year (go check my pre-draft coverage for more info.), but I’m not naive and my fandom doesn’t rely in players over the team. If there’s a power forward who’s available in future drafts who’s better than Faried you better believe I’m going to advocate the Nuggets take him. That’s all I’m really saying.

      • Thomas

        It is definitively naive to think that we can draft someone better than Faried.

        Step back and think for a second what this guy has done as a rookie, not to mention considering he was relegated to the bench for the first half of the season by our “experienced” head coach.

        You don’t come into the NBA as a rookie and get 10 points and 8 rebounds in 22 minutes per game and average a double double in the playoffs in less than 28 minutes per game, all while shooting well over 50%. His defense improved by leaps and bounds over the course of the season and to consider that he has “a lot of work to do” is a stretch.

        Harrington has a lot of work to do. Andre Miller has a lot of work to do. Those are the deficient players that will make us fail on a consistent basis as they have serious flaws in their game and they won’t change at this stage of their careers.

        I can’t believe most fans here talk about Harrington as a contributor. Look at his career, look at his stats, look at his playoff performance.

        You need 3 players on your starting unit that are among the league’s best in order to have a shot at the championship. In my view, we have Ty and we have Faried – so we are missing one piece.

        If anyone on our roster has a spitting chance of becoming that third piece, I would say it’s Hamilton. Everyone else is a role player, including Gallo and Mcgee.

        Trade everything plus the kitchen sink to get this third piece, while keeping Ty and Faried. We have the distributor and the rebounder, now we need either the shooter (preferable) or a good starting center. Before trading away for a shooter, I would give Hamilton the starting job and see what happens. As for center, I would trade Mcgee and others (AAA, Gallo etc) to get a Gasol (either brother, if available) or someone near that caliber.

        • Guy

          Faried along with Lawson, Brewer and maybe McGee are the only Nuggets I wouldn’t consider trading but that being said I wouldn’t hesitate to move up and draft someone like Moultrie, Henson or Zeller to get bigger and/or more consistant play out of the center & PF spots. For all his energy and improvment Faried is really only about 6’6″ which can be problematic against larger skilled PFs.
          I also think that the Nuggets should draft on upside and not need. At #20 players like Harkless, Wroten & Ross would be ideal.
          I’d love to see the Nuggets take a chance and move into the top 3 or 4 and pick up MKG or Beal if it wouldn’t cost them too much. I know much has been made of MKG flat shot but he has everything else and he’s only 19. D. Wade couldn’t shoot either when he came into the league.
          The Nuggets in my opinion should take advantage of this deep draft even if they don’t move into the top 3 or 4 and move up into the low teens and draft one of the big men or a guy like Lilliard from Weber St. Could be a 6th man of the year candidate (a la Jason Terry).

        • FinazzAus

          You are crazy. Faired had a good year. Agreed. But to say he doesn’t need to work on stuff is crazy. He needs to develop a mid range jumper. Gives him the ability to score in another way and spread to floor so much more. Lawson would go nuts in most game if teams have to bring there PF or center up to guard faired because he can knock down that shot

          • Thomas

            It’s not crazy. Sure, he will work and improve a bit his shooting. But let’s not get carried away here, he is not going to become Kevin Love. He will improve his defensive positioning, for sure, but he’s already made big steps in that area this year.

            From a defensive standpoint, he actually has more potential than Kevin Love as he is much, much more athletic. He will maintain his “bounce” for many years.

            Dennis Rodman didn’t improve his shooting as his career progressed, he improved his rebounding. That’s what made him a difference maker. Same applies to Faried. He will excel in rebounding and make us one of the best teams on the offensive glass. You really can’t ask for much more. Not everyone has to score 15+ per game.

            • Henry aka LWH and formerly KFH

              We could have the best of both worlds, which is to say a serious scoring PF *and* the perpetual motion machine that is Kenneth Faried. How? By going out and getting that starting PF and giving Faried serious minutes off the bench.

              With our currently starting five, Manimal looks to me to be best utilized as a back-up. IMO, we need more scoring from our frontcourt. When the going gets tough, we need a big who can post up and create his shot, along with hitting jumpers from some distance. I love Faried a TON, but I don’t believe he’ll ever fit that description.

              He will *always*, however, bring instant energy off the bench, magnetizing the ball and demoralizing opponents. He would be among the best back-up bigs in the business.

              My two cents.

  • aussienuggzfan

    I think Terrence Ross is the ideal pick but it’s unlikely two gems fall to us in the 20s in consecutive years. Especially with Minnesota looking for a SG.

    Tony Wroten and Marquis Teague could be good options as scoring back up PGs while Jordan Hamilton could fill the void as a 3 pt shooting SG.

    Second round I think we definately need a true power foward to back up behind Al. If Al or Faried go down I would hope we would have another option than Koufos or a stretch 4 like gallo or chandler

  • aussienuggzfan

    We should draft Jae Crowder just for laughs. Make him number 36 and him and Kenny can just run around killing dudes

    • Guy

      In the 2nd round I think your better off looking for a PG, SG or SF (a shooter) that might be overlooked earlier in the draft. I know PF like Millsap & Boozer have been drafted in the 2nd round or late 1st but they are undersized and that’s something we already have in Faried. I initially liked taking Crowder for he’s smart and can do alot of things, but he’s not nearly the athlete of Faried and I’m not sure what position he plays. If the Nuggets don’t package the two 2nd rounders to move up I would take him in a heart beat with that second 2nd rounder.

      • Aaa

        I meant cause they look similar that is all

      • Ryan

        Plus, Crowder measured just under 6’4″ at the predraft workouts, which is small for a shooting guard, let alone PF/SF… not really sure he can make it in the NBA at that size

  • Ian

    I think the best way to go is with Johnson. The Nuggets need shooters, as many as shooters as they can get, especially since they attack the paint so much. It works for the Spurs.

    • Ian

      Jenkins I mean, whoops.

  • DAN

    I keep hearing people refer to Faried as 6′ 6″. While he did measure 6′ 6.5″ at the pre-draft combine last year without shoes, what you have to realize is all basketball heights are listed with shoes on. (which seem to be about 1.5″) No one lists Gasol as 6′ 10.5″ (which he is) they call him a 7 footer. Same for all NBA players, so for all practical purposes Faried is his listed 6′ 8″. Unless he plays in socks for some reason….
    Sorry this has just been bothering me.

    • ryanvdonk

      rodman was 6’6″ and he’s only the greatest rebounder of all time along with an all time great on the defensive end.

    • Aaa

      Thank you. People have double standards, especially during that laker serie when people would say is was a guy 6’6 playing a guy 7′

  • Omar

    Denver Trades: Danilo Gallinari, #38

    Golden State Trades: #7,#30

    We draft the best sf available at #7 Barnes/MKG/ or Perry Jones. Probably only pj3 would be available at #7.

    At #20 we either get a point to replace Miller or take a pf if we know miller is going to come back. Lets say moultrie is there at #20

    At #30 we take the sharpshooter John Jenkins.

    Ty Lawson/Andre Miller
    Arron Afflalo/Jordan Hamilton/John Jenkins
    Perry Jones/Wilson Chandler/Corey Brewer
    Kenneth Faried/Al Harrington/Arnett Moultrie
    Javale Mcgee/Arnett Moultrie/Timo Mozgov

    • Ryan

      Perry Jones will be a super-bust in the NBA. He’s a poor man’s Anthony Randolph. He’s not strong enough to play inside and instead wants to be a 6’11” shooting guard. No thanks.
      Plus, you would have to wait until the lottery to project that trade. If a team #8-14 ends up in the top 3, the pick will go to Utah, as it is top 7 protected for GSW. NBA should get rid of these stupid pick-protection clauses. Picks should be unprotected, lottery protected, or top 3 protected, that’s it.
      I do agree with you that either Gallo or Chandler should be traded, just not sure who the best trade partner is just yet.

    • dynamo.joe

      At the beginning of the season Gallinari was playing at an all-star level. Remember that? When people started calling it the Gallinari trade instead of the ‘Melo trade?

      Yes, it’s true he never regained that form after injuries sidelined him, but it’s too early to say “he’s always injured, let’s get rid of him”.

    • Henry aka LWH and formerly KFH

      Can’t see a Gallo Trade, and here’s betting Ujiri and Kroenke can’t either. He won’t be a superstar–doesn’t have the mindset–but he can be a difference-maker in the NBA. Needs an injury-free season and the rhythm and confidence that playing in Karl’s “system” can bring.

      Get ready for next season, ’cause it’s gonna be an entertaining one for us Nuggets fans watching Gallo come into his own.

  • dynamo.joe

    So, no one likes Waiters? Or just don’t think he’ll still be available?

    You know how Denverites love their Syracuse players (although I think taking another Melo would be too much).

    • Kalen

      I love Waiters but this article was just about the guys the Nuggets worked out. Also, Waiters is supposedly killing it in workouts. Chad Ford jumped him up about 12 spots in his recent mock, all the way to No. 8. There’s a really good chance he’s just not gonna be available by the time the Nuggets select.

  • DAN

    Waiters is a good example of the depth this draft has. IMO there isn’t that much difference between him and Beal. I would love it if we could nab him with #20. But like you said Kalen he is most likely gone.

  • DAN

    Kalen do you have any idea were Chukwudiebere Maduabum is?

    • Kalen

      He was playing for the Bakersfield Jam last I checked; however, his name has never been on the roster this year and it’s a weird that he’s not playing for the Nuggets affiliate D-League team. I can’t figure out what the deal is. Hopefully he’s coming along. It would be nice to see him on the Nuggets summer league team.

  • Ricardo

    The nuggets should draft Dion Waiters. He’s a powerful and explosive player who could thrive well in their running system. Waiters can score from a variety of ways; he can shoot from the outside and attack the rim, and play good defense on perimeter players, which is the kind of defense the nuggets weren’t consistent in last season.