After a period of silence, the Nuggets have finally announced the next group of players scheduled to work out for the team on June 18. The list includes six players, three of whom appeared in Roundball Mining Company’s first Big Board of the year. The Nuggets have graciously granted permission to our writers to attend the event, however it appears nobody will be able to make it due to occupational limitations.
To put it simply, this sucks.
Royce White, Andrew Nicholson and Will Barton will all be in attendance, as will Marquis Teague, Tyshawn Taylor and Kevin Murphy.
A quick breakdown of the other three prospects that we have yet to cover here at RMC:
Taylor is a senior point guard who played alongside Thomas Robinson at Kansas. After an up-and-down career with a number of off-court incidents and streaky play, Taylor finally pieced most of his scattered tendencies together to have an impressive final year at Kansas, helping his team reach the National Championship game in the process. He’s a spectacular athlete with top-notch speed and an ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc at a consistent rate. He’s also one of the better defensive players in the entire Draft. However, Taylor still struggles mightily with decision making which often leads to unnecessary turnovers and ill-advised shot attempts. In short, he’s somewhat of a poor man’s Russell Westbrook.
Teague has many similarities to Taylor. He is also a point guard who had an up-and-down freshman year at Kentucky but ultimately ended up pulling it all together at the right time and contributing to his team’s National Championship run. He was a consensus Top 10 recruit coming out of high school, although his lone NCAA season raised questions about his future in the NBA. Ideally, Teague should have stayed another year at Kentucky. While explosive and lethal offensively, he’s still incredibly raw and likely won’t blossom for another several years. With Ty Lawson already running the show in Denver, it’s hard to see how Teague fits into the equation, especially given the fact his game is remarkably similar to the one Lawson possesses.
Murphy is more of an unknown commodity to the general public. As a shooting guard at Tennessee Tech, he flew under the radar for most of his career until last winter when he erupted for 50 points against SIU-Edwardsville. He finished the season averaging 21 points per game, logging more than five 30-plus point games in the process. Murphy is a pure scorer who can stretch the floor and create his own shot in a variety of ways.
It’s interesting to see White, Barton and Nicholson all exercising together in the first sizable group workout of the year for the Nuggets. As anybody who reads this site knows, these are three of my favorite prospects likely to be available at 20. They were the only three I chose to cover extensively in our first Big Board of the year. Barton and Nicholson — specifically — are two guys I spent the most time watching film over throughout all of last season. Any of these three players would be great selections at 20, but White and Nicholson are the most intriguing.
As for Murphy and Taylor — these players will likely be under consideration with the 38th pick in the Draft. Both have a knack for scoring the ball and come with an inciting amount of potential. Personally, I like Murphy. I think he’s a better scorer and comes with far fewer concerns. For what the Nuggets need, he’s the better fit.