Nuggets to work out three players on Roundball Mining Company radar

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.

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  • Aaron

    Nice Work Kalen,

  • Landry

    Are you guys going to do the final grade for all of our players during the season? The rapid reactions were fun and I wanted to know if you were going to do a final GPA for our team members including the playoffs???

  • Poz_303

    Why would Teague be a bad fit if his game is similar to Lawson’s? I would think that would be a good reason to have him as a back-up PG.

    • ThomasDenverFan

      It would be a ok fit except we have to worry about GK playing them at the same time but it might force him to stop the 2 point guard system or use J Stone in that set up. i personally really like teague and would really like to get him but i think getting a back.up PF is a high issue so that maybe just maybe Gk will limit Big Als minutes.but this Murphy guy looks to be a good pick up thanks for bringing him to the light Kalen .

      • Asdqqq

        Between Al, Faried, and playing Gallo (or Chandler if he is still here) at the 4, there are no minutes available at the 4. So take a 4 if he’s the best long term prospect, but he’s not going to play this year.

        I like Teague. He’s better than his brother was at this point in their careers, and his brother is a quality NBA player.

        • ThomasDenverFan

          I am on board with getting teague i think he would be great pick and if handler stays which i kind of really hope he is

  • youngthegiant

    will barton= corey brewer 2.0
    do not want

    • Manimal

      I think that is a lazy comparison. They aren’t very similar at all
      Brewer-defense
      Barton- scorer

  • SmokinNugs

    I would LOVE to go to this workout under the Roundball Mining banner, any chance for a substitute?

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

    Royce White would be such a killer for us. Does anyone know if he’s tried medicating for his fear of flying?

    • GK4Prez

      I read something on him and his fear of flying and it doesn’t sound like it is an issue anymore.

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

    I’m also a Marquis Teague fan because that would likely mean we don’t keep Dre. Although I think the best option would be to trade up and get Kendall Marshall.

    • Manimal

      Why would we trade up to get a backup for our best player?

  • DAN

    I’m not sure if Perry J will still be around at 20 but I think he is worth the risk. Out of all the players in this draft he has one of the highest ceilings. Sure he could be a bust, but what do we have to lose? We are a deep team who needs a star. Look at what our staff did with Javal. Why not swing for the fences and give Jones a chance.

    • Manimal

      My thinking exactly

    • Ryan

      At 20, he would be worth the risk, but I think there is just about zero chance he’ll still be around at 20….

    • gfacekillah8

      There is no way Perry Jones i availale at 20

  • GK4Prez

    Getting Nicholson at 20 and Murphy at 38 would be a nice draft imo.

  • Thomas

    Masai should go out on a limb and ask kroenke for a boatload of money offer to try to lure Phil Jackson here. He just said he wants to be near his Montana home and wouldn’t take the Orlando gig.

    We need to think big and ignore the nonsense talk that big names don’t come here. Denver is a big sports town, Peyton came here, why not go for gold and reel Jackson in with big plans? We have trade bait and if Jackson is here top players would give us consideration. No one wants to play for GK – he is a loser.

    • Andrew

      I wouldn’t say GK is a loser, but I would love to get Phil Jackson.

    • Eddie

      Hahahaha! Awesome plan. Then they can trade Rudy for Dwight and Andre Miller for Rose. That will work.

      Face it. This shitty little cow town has one game. Broncos. That’s it.

      When the Nuggets were playing the biggest game of the season, game 7, first round, what the the lead story in the Denver Post sports?

      Broncos rookie practice.
      (Drops mic and walks off stage.)

  • Ricardo

    If the nuggets get Nicholson at 20, Murphy at 38, and Tyshawn Taylor at 50, it would be a great draft for the nuggets.

    • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

      I like the picks but I think Taylor is more likely to go around 38 and Murphy at 50. I don’t think anyone would be too unhappy if we ended up getting these guys but I suppose it depends on who is still on the board.

  • Colin

    Perry Jones Please!! With Chandler as good as gone he could play some 3 as well as providing a scoring presence at the 4…Why would you not take a chance on a 6’11 super athletic verstile guy?? Could his ceiling be the next Kevin Durant??

    • Tebowtime

      Perry jones or Quincy miller- I want one of the Baylor boys

  • Hoops

    Denver needs a big rough and tough guy to replace Kenyon Martin–they should consider Kyle O’Quinn with #20 or move up from 38 to get him. If not him they need a pure 3 point shooter.

    • Tebowtime

      Kyle oquinn is not a first rounder. Most experts don’t even have him in the second round, if anything you take him at 50

  • Tebowtime

    Quincy miller Quincy miller Quincy miller – gonna be a star and an absolute steal at 20

  • Ricardo

    The nuggets should get the best player available with their 20th pick, which is Andrew Nicholson. He would be a great fit for the nuggets. Nicholson averaged 18 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, and 1 steal per game in his senior season (he may be one of the best all-around power forward available in this draft other than Moultrie). He could score from the inside and the outside; he could stretch the floor by shooting three-pointers, hit jump-shots, make turn-around jumpers, and also shows a mini hook. Defensively, he’s a solid rebounder on both ends of the floor and a shot-blocker. If Denver gets Nicholson, I won’t be surprise if he takes over the back-up power forward role away from Harrington and may have to be traded in the February trade deadline, just like Nene was last season because of Faried.

    • asdqqq

      Nicholson is really hard to evaluate. He’s an older prospect because he’s a 4 year senior, but he didn’t start showing a lot of his ability until late in his career.
      He was an indifferent defender and rebounder with a lot of motor questions for much of his college career, so there has to be some question about whether he matured or was just temporarily motivitated by the prospect of a payday. And he didn’t start shooting from distance until the last half of his senior season. So there is a lot of tape showing him playing pretty ordinary. Hard to know exactly what you are going to get with him, but he could be a better pro than he was a college player.

  • dynamo.joe

    hollinger just put up his big board and has two guys named Kostas in the low 30’s.

    31. Kostas Sloukas
    34. Kostas Papanikolaou

    I hereby submit my demand for an all Kostas squad.

    • asdqqq

      What Hollinger and his statistical models think about some of the prospects we’ve discussed on this blog:

      High on:
      Quincy Miller (6th overall)
      Royce White (10)
      Tony Wroten (13th, though he rates behind the next 2 guys in the statistical model)
      Kendall Marshall (14)
      Marquis Teague (15)
      Doron Lamb (20)
      Will Barton (22)

      Down on:
      Perry Jones (28)
      Fab Melo (30)
      Moe Harkless (35)
      Andrew Nicholson (38)
      Arnett Moultrie (42)
      John Jenkins (48)

      In my experience, his models are a useful to check the against your non statistical assesments to see if anything seems radically different. The one main caveat is that they don’t do a very good job of including defensive ability, so you need to adjust up for better defensive players and down for worse ones (though Hollinger does some of this subjectively in his final rankings listed above). Which makes John Jenkins look even worse.

      The rankings here don’t look too far off base from what I was already thinking. On the positive side, Miller would probably be a good pick at 20 if he makes it there, though he’d have a hard time getting on the floor anytime soon; White and Wroten are high risk, high reward types (especially because both can’t shoot a lick); I don’t think Marshall will be around; and Teague and Doron Lamb have been my two favorites to take at 20, though Hollinger’s numbers put Teague a significant cut above Lamb, rating him in the top 10 PG prospects since 2002 (though not above Lawson:). I’ll have to look again at Barton.

      On the negative side, I had doubts about all of those guys, and Hollinger’s numbers appear to confirm that it is all about potential with them because they haven’t really done anything to distinguish themselves in their performance at college. I think Jenkins can play an NBA role, but Hollinger’s stuff seems to confirm that its unlikely he’ll be able to do anything more than that.

      • Kalen

        You should really take those rankings with a grain of salt. Projecting prospects based solely on statistical analysis is the highway to erroneous decisions. You have to watch them in games, interview them, the entire enchilada, to gain an understanding of who they are and what they can be. Stats are only a “fraction” of the story.

        If you took Hollinger’s rankings to heart that means Kostas Sloukas will have a better NBA career than Harrison Barnes, Will Barton and Jeremy Lamb.

        That’ll be the day.

        • asdqqq

          I absolutely agree that the statistical analysis doesn’t tell the whole story. I think that’s what I said in my post. But it absolutely does tell a story, and not an insignificant one. So yes, its a “fraction” of the story, but I think its a pretty significant fraction, not one to be just tossed aside lightly. The track record with Hollinger’s model is pretty good. Year after year it has identified some high draft picks as busts and some low draft picks as sleepers. Particularly with very high scores, it seems to be on to something. In 09 it said take Ty Lawson, not DeMar Derozen. That would have been good advice.

          As for Kostas Sloukas having a better NBA career than Harrison Barnes, Will Barton and Jeremy Lamb, Hollinger’s numbers don’t say that. The numbers aren’t meant to be read as any kind of absolute ranking, just as putting the players into ranges; in this case, the 10 to 12 range shows a pretty average first round pick, with plenty of potential to become a quality rotation player or to fail entirely, but little likelhood to turn into a true star.
          Could Sloukas be better than those other guys? Sure. None of those guys are sure things. Are any of them better prospects than OJ Mayo coming out of college? He’s a player Hollinger’s model similarly urged caution on. And how much film of Sloukas have you watched?

          This is exactly why looking at these stats can be useful. Maybe it makes you actually go look at Sloukas. And maybe it makes you question whether to take Barnes, Barton, or Lamb instead of a guy like Teague, who’s score puts him in a group of PGs who have pretty universally turned into quality rotation players, many of them into bona fide superstars.

          • Kalen

            All fair points. Totally agree. I just think, like you said, you absolutely MUST weigh these with personal observations and a multitude of other types of analysis. I think it’s interesting to look at advanced formulas like the ones Hollinger presents, I just get nervous about the different intangibles and situational circumstances they tend to overlook and not account for all together. In essence, it’s just purely numerical. That allows a lot of room for error.

    • Eddie

      Then add Jason and Quenton Richardson… Full house!

      • dynamo.joe

        If only you had said ‘the olsen twins…full house’. That’s quality humor right there.

  • Ian

    My own really shoddy/in-no-way-professional analysis:

    This will be one of the more unpredictable NBA drafts in recent memory, particularly for the Nuggets. The Nuggets are a deep team without a lot of open roster spots and have three draft picks in 2012 which gives them a lot of flexibility. Despite public statements to the contrary, I expect *something* to happen come the draft. That might be trading picks to move up, trading picks to later drafts, or picking prospects oversees. It’s nearly impossible to calculate all of that, and depending on what Masai and Josh are able to do, gauging where or who we’ll be drafting is nearly impossible. That said, here’s my big board.

    Moving Up:

    Evan Fournier. A rangy Euro who is only 19 with a good basketball IQ and decent offensive and defensive skill set. Think of him as Gallo-lite, and insurance for Gallo or Chandler if either one of them end up not panning out. Still probably needs a few years to develop which would probably be better to do in Europe. In the very least, this would give the Nuggets a good trade asset if they want to do later deals in the future.

    Doron Lamb. I had originally penciled John Jenkins as one of my favorite picks, but the more I look at the other Lamb brother, the more I am impressed. He doesn’t have elite athleticism but it doesn’t matter when you are projected to be a spot-up sniper. He’s actually a rookie that Karl might play (I know, I know, laugh if you want). He’s heady, has a huge basketball IQ and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.

    Andrew Nicholson. He does a lot of things pretty well. He rebounds, he scores and he’s drastically improved his 3PT shooting. He could develop into a Stretch 4-like-Harrington, although with better defense. He fills an obvious need although there are questions about his motor and character.

    John Jenkins. Not really worthy of a 20th pick, but he and Lamb are the two best shooters in the draft and that’s the one commodity the Nuggets really need. He’s probably going to be the steal of the draft for any team that takes him, likely in the late 20’s or second round.

    Moving Down:

    Royce White. This is less any issue I have with White as a player, but I don’t see how Royce fits in tot he Nuggets. He’s got a very unique skill set but I only see room for him on the team if Chandler departs of if Chandler suddenly learns how to play SG. In either event, we already have a PF with no range who hustles and plays energy ball. Royce is a better passer, no doubt, but his shooting his horrible and its not likely to get better. That’s not what the Nuggets really need right now.

    Quincy Miller. When people talk about players with “great scoring instincts” but who still need to “improve their offensive game” they’re basically just enamored with points-per-game despite the fact that its mostly volume over quality (I’m looking at you, Carmelo). He’s also slotted to play a position we already are deep at (SF).

    Arnette Moultrie. I actually like Moultrie, too. but I think that Nicholson has a higher ceiling and I’m underwhelmed by his shooting. Yes, he shot over 40% on his 3’s, but that was only on 18 attempts so its basically meaningless. There are better value picks here.

  • gfacekillah8

    i really hope that we package chandler and picks to trade into the top 10 and get Drummond. He could really turn into a Demarcus Cousins type player for us. Bad rap pre draft but really great player. He could rotate with Javale at center and be a force. Also this would mean we would never have to see Koufos play for the Nuggets again which is a double bonus.

    If we stay at 20 then we should get cover for Ty at the point with whoever is the best available.

    And for all the GK haters out there. Only three current coaches have won the NBA finals (Doc Rivers, Rick Carlisle and Gregg Popovich). That number will obviously change after these finals so consider it at 4. Also of the 30 coaches, only 10 have even been to the finals as a head coach. Karl is one of the 10 and if it wasn’t for the buzz saw that was the MJ Bulls teams of the 90s would have won a championship and maybe won 2. So get off the guys back and recognize we have a top tier coach.

    • Mk19

      Umm look at who he had with the Sonics… who btw lost first round to the Nuggets. How ironic. No coach is top tier if their first 8 years as HC, only one year they got out of the 1st round. For the guy talking about Bronco’s town, kick rocks. Nuggets owner not doing what he should to bring a championship here. I feel like Masai should be President

  • FinazzAus

    The more and more I do draft research I beleive we need Jeremy lamb. He will be in our price range if we flip our 20th pick and chandler for a pick between 8-14.
    Lamb would fit well with Denver. He can be used as a knock down wing player when we are pushing the ball and then a good to guy when we get forced into a half court offenses game. And he can play really good one on one D. I think he is someone what flying under the radar in most mock drafts.

    • steve

      I think Milwaukee at 12 might be the perfect spot if they cant land their big they want. Rumors have it they want Meyers Leonard or an athletic big wing to play alongside Monte and Jennings. Chandler would be perfect there at the 3.

      I’m not sure what to think of chandlers value but i would believe it’s somewhere in the range of 12 pick. I wouldnt think we need to give up 20 also. Maybe Chandler and 38 for 12. If that is the case, i’m all for taking Waiters, Rivers, Lamb or Ross at 12 and then snagging Nicholson or Moultrie or heck even Sullinger if he falls after being red flagged medically.

  • Peter

    I have no idea what we are going to do on draft day. Let me just say that I have full confidence in Julian Stone and I really hope we don’t use our first pick on a point guard because I think that would be a waste. We already have Jordan Hamilton at the sf who got no minutes last season so I don’t see a need to draft one. I think Nicholson is the guy if he’s still available or best case scenario we can trade up and get a guy like Jeremy Lamb who could be a difference maker for us.

    • asdqqq

      Why, exactly, do you have full confidence in Julyan Stone?

  • Greg

    If someone has espn insider could you post the latest mock draft (I believe it’s Chad Ford’s Verison 8.0)

    • ThomasDenverFan

      It has us taking sullinger for Ohio state

      • ThomasDenverFan

        From*

  • DAN

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    New Orleans

    Anthony Davis

    Position: PF
    Height: 6-foot-11
    Weight: 222 pounds
    Age: 19
    School: Kentucky
    Analysis: Davis is the clear No. 1 pick. The Hornets are turning down all trade offers for Davis and trying to figure out the best way to build around him. Look for them to seriously consider dealing the No. 10 pick if they can get a young veteran to play alongside Davis in return. This team has no intention of being bad for the next five seasons now that Davis is in place.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Charlotte

    Thomas Robinson

    Position: PF
    Height: 6-foot-9
    Weight: 244 pounds
    Age: 21
    School: Kansas
    Analysis: The Bobcats continue to talk with teams about trading the No. 2 pick. But if they keep it, most of the signals coming out of the organization point to Robinson being the man. He is a super athletic, physical 4 who should be an instant upgrade over Tyrus Thomas and D.J. White.

    I’m hearing Harrison Barnes may be in second place on their wish list. Apparently, MJ is a fan. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal are in the mix, too, though I’m told MKG didn’t blow anyone away in his workout for the Bobcats on Monday and also hurt his back a little.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Washington

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

    Position: SF
    Height: 6-foot-8
    Weight: 233 pounds
    Age: 18
    School: Kentucky
    Analysis: The Wizards are happy at No. 3 and I continue to hear it will come down to Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal. Barnes, I’m told, is also now in the picture. Andre Drummond is too, but he’s much further down the list. So who gets the nod?

    The Wizards really need shooting, which should give Beal or Barnes a leg up. But I continue to hear that Kidd-Gilchrist remains the favorite. It’s very close.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Cleveland

    Bradley Beal

    Position: SG
    Height: 6-foot-5
    Weight: 202 pounds
    Age: 18
    School: Florida
    Analysis: The Cavs had Beal and Barnes in for a head-to-head workout Saturday. While both played well, the word out of Cleveland is that Beal was a little better. That could seal the deal for Beal at No. 4 if he falls this far.

    But remember that workouts are just one small part of a much bigger process. The Cavs have been very interested in Barnes for the past year and could decide they prefer his size.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Sacramento

    Harrison Barnes

    Position: SF
    Height: 6-foot-8
    Weight: 228 pounds
    Age: 20
    School: North Carolina
    Analysis: Sacramento is another team that is seriously considering moving its pick if it can. GM Geoff Petrie is on the hot seat and the Kings are once again looking for a player who can come in and contribute immediately. If they can entice a team to give up a young veteran for the No. 5 pick, I think they do it. If they keep the pick, it’s looking like they’ll play it safe and grab Barnes. Drummond is in the mix too, but he’s a much riskier proposition.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Portland (via Nets)

    Andre Drummond

    Position: C
    Height: 7-foot-0
    Weight: 279 pounds
    Age: 18
    School: UConn
    Analysis: Blazers GM Neil Olshey is a risk-taker. He also knows he has some time to rebuild this team. So, unlike Petrie, Olshey has the capital right now to take a risk or two in the draft.

    It may come down to a three-way choice (assuming the top five are off the board) between Drummond, Damian Lillard and Dion Waiters. I hear the Blazers like all three, but Drummond clearly has the biggest upside of the group. He also comes with the biggest question marks.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Golden State

    Dion Waiters

    Position: SG
    Height: 6-foot-4
    Weight: 221 pounds
    Age: 20
    School: Syracuse
    Analysis: We’ve tried a number of players in this spot and none of them have stuck. Perry Jones really struggled during a workout with the Warriors. Terrence Jones didn’t wow them in workouts. And news of Jared Sullinger’s back issues have GMs in the lottery running scared.

    Could the Warriors turn to Waiters? He would bring a lot of what Monta Ellis brought to the table at a much cheaper price. If the team believes Klay Thompson can slide over to the 3, or if it just wants to fill out a three-guard rotation, Waiters could be the guy.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Toronto

    Damian Lillard

    Position: PG
    Height: 6-foot-3
    Weight: 189 pounds
    Age: 21
    School: Weber State
    Analysis: The Raptors were high on Waiters early, but his stock has risen so rapidly that he could very well be off the board when they pick. If that’s the case, Lillard may be the next best thing to Waiters as a dynamic backcourt scorer, something the team has lacked.

    The Raptors are also open to trading their pick for a veteran wing who could add stability to their roster. If they keep the pick, Jeremy Lamb and Austin Rivers are also in the mix here.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Detroit

    John Henson

    Position: PF
    Height: 6-foot-10
    Weight: 216 pounds
    Age: 21
    School: North Carolina
    Analysis: Greg Monroe has been a revelation in the middle for the Pistons, but they really need to pair him alongside an athletic shot-blocker. Although Henson is painfully thin, he rebounds, blocks shots and defends multiple positions.

    It wouldn’t be a perfect solution for Detroit, but the Pistons don’t have a lot of other options here unless they want to reach a bit for Meyers Leonard, who might be worth it after his stellar showing at the draft combine.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    New Orleans
    (via Wolves)

    Austin Rivers

    Position: SG
    Height: 6-foot-5
    Weight: 203 pounds
    Age: 19
    School: Duke
    Analysis: We’ve had Sullinger here the past few weeks. But just as he was working out in New Orleans, NBA team doctors were reviewing the physicals from the draft combine. As we reported on Monday, Sullinger’s physical left a number of team docs skittish.

    If Sullinger isn’t the guy, there is no obvious direction for the Hornets to go next. You could make the case for a dozen players. So why Rivers? He checks off a lot of boxes (perimeter scorer, shooter, star quality) that the Hornets are looking for and gives them some insurance should Eric Gordon get too expensive as a restricted free agent this summer.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Portland

    Jeremy Lamb

    Position: SG
    Height: 6-foot-5
    Weight: 179 pounds
    Age: 20
    School: UConn
    Analysis: If the Blazers get Drummond at No. 6, they can turn their attention to their needs in the backcourt. While a point guard might be ideal, with Lillard off the board, I think they go after a 2-guard. Lamb has great length for his position, is a smooth athlete and would give Portland some scoring in the backcourt.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Milwaukee

    Meyers Leonard

    Position: C
    Height: 7-foot-1
    Weight: 250 pounds
    Age: 20
    School: Illinois
    Analysis: The Bucks gambled a few years ago on Brandon Jennings and it paid off big time. At this point in the draft, Leonard is risky but could have huge upside. The Bucks really need a center after sending Andrew Bogut to the Warriors at the trade deadline. Leonard is a work in progress but has the size and athletic ability to become a dominant big man down the road.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Phoenix

    Terrence Ross

    Position: SG
    Height: 6-foot-7
    Weight: 197 pounds
    Age: 21
    School: Washington
    Analysis: We’ve had both Waiters and Rivers associated with this pick in the past. However, if both players are off the board, Ross could be the guy.

    He’s big, he’s super athletic and he can really shoot. The Suns desperately need help in their backcourt, and Ross could be a very solid addition.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Houston

    Tyler Zeller

    Position: C
    Height: 7-foot-0
    Weight: 247 pounds
    Age: 22
    School: North Carolina
    Analysis: The Rockets’ biggest need is in the middle, and Zeller should be a solid option. Scouts don’t think Zeller is going to be an All-Star someday, but he’s big, runs the floor very well and has a great touch around the basket. Leonard has passed him on our board, but Zeller should ultimately land somewhere in Picks 8-14.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Philadelphia

    Terrence Jones

    Position: PF
    Height: 6-foot-10
    Weight: 252 pounds
    Age: 20
    School: Kentucky
    Analysis: The Sixers might have a tough choice here between Jones, Sullinger and Arnett Moultrie. They need size, but also shooting. Jones may be the compromise. He measured out very well for a power forward at the combine, has an NBA body and proved to be a solid rebounder and shot-blocker in college. He has tremendous upside if he puts his heart into it.

    Sullinger, meanwhile, would give the Sixers the starting-caliber replacement for Elton Brand if he can stay healthy, while Moultrie is a long, bouncy, athletic big man who could stretch the floor.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Houston (via Knicks)

    Arnett Moultrie

    Position: PF
    Height: 6-foot-11
    Weight: 223 pounds
    Age: 21
    School: Mississippi State
    Analysis: Moultrie can stretch the floor and really rebound. With the Rockets in desperate need of size, pairing Moultrie with Zeller could give them a good mix of bigs.

    PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS

    Dallas

    Kendall Marshall

    Position: PG
    Height: 6-foot-4
    Weight: 198 pounds
    Age: 20
    School: North Carolina
    Analysis: With Jason Kidd 39 years old and a free agent, and Rodrigue Beaubois more of a combo guard, Marshall would offer much of what Kidd brings to the table — incredible court vision and size — right away. Marshall is not a great athlete or a great shooter, but he could keep Dirk & Co. happy.

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    Wolves (via Jazz)

    Fab Melo

    Position: C
    Height: 7-foot
    Weight: 255 pounds
    Age: 22
    School: Syracuse
    Analysis: The Wolves are praying that one of the wings, such as Ross or Rivers, slides to them here. But if they don’t, the Wolves may choose to go big with Melo. Nikola Pekovic was a revelation this season, but after that the cupboard is pretty bare. Darko Milicic has one more year on his deal, but he’s not a long-term answer in Minnesota.

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    Orlando

    Perry Jones III

    Position: PF
    Height: 6-foot-11
    Weight: 234 pounds
    Age: 20
    School: Baylor
    Analysis: This is a long way for Jones to slip in the draft. Many believe he’s a top-5 talent, but no one knows what position he’ll play in the pros; his situation reminds me a lot of the one Josh Smith was in a few years ago. Jones may find a home in the lottery, but if he doesn’t he could slide this far. Given Jones’ raw talent, he’s definitely worth the risk at this point.

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    Denver

    Jared Sullinger

    Position: PF
    Height: 6-foot-9
    Weight: 268 pounds
    Age: 20
    School: Ohio State
    Analysis: A number of GMs are legitimately concerned with what their doctors found concerning Sullinger’s back. They claim it’s much more serious than what Sullinger’s camp is saying. We will continue to try to get a handle on this situation in the next few days.

    Still, there will be a certain spot in the draft where Sullinger’s reward outweighs the risk. I’m not totally sure this is it, but the Nuggets need a 4 who can bang down low, so this might be a win-win for Sullinger and Denver.

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    Boston

    Andrew Nicholson

    Position: PF
    Height: 6-foot-10
    Weight: 234 pounds
    Age: 22
    School: St. Bonaventure
    Analysis: Nicholson is another draft sleeper who may really rise with workouts. He’s a big stretch 4 who has drawn some comparisons to David West. He would be another welcome addition to the Celtics’ summer makeover.

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    Boston (via Clippers)

    Moe Harkless

    Position: SF
    Height: 6-foot-9
    Weight: 207 pounds
    Age: 19
    School: St. John’s
    Analysis: The Celtics get a pretty safe pick with Nicholson at No. 21 and then roll the dice a bit with Harkless at No. 22. He’s long and athletic and can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. If the team is going to start rebuilding, it’ll need to nail a few of these late picks like it did with Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley.

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    Atlanta

    Royce White

    Position: SF
    Height: 6-foot-8
    Weight: 261 pounds
    Age: 21
    School: Iowa State
    Analysis: As long as coach Larry Drew can buy into what White is and how to play him, he could be a steal at this point in the draft. The Hawks don’t really have a primary ball handler anyway, which may make White a great choice if he’s allowed to play his game.

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    Cavs (via Lakers)

    Quincy Miller

    Position: SF
    Height: 6-foot-10
    Weight: 219 pounds
    Age: 19
    School: Baylor
    Analysis: If the Cavs add Beal, they could try to swing for the fences with Miller. There are a lot of concerns about his knee and what position he’ll play in the NBA. But his upside is so high that it might be worth taking a gamble this low in the first round. There’s very little risk and a lot of potential reward here.

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    Memphis

    Tony Wroten Jr.

    Position: PG
    Height: 6-foot-6
    Weight: 203 pounds
    Age: 18
    School: Washington
    Analysis: The Grizzlies don’t have a ton of talent behind Mike Conley, and Wroten is definitely worth the risk at this point in the draft. He is the most spectacular passer in the draft and has great size and athleticism. He just needs to fix that broken shot of his.

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    Indiana

    Marquis Teague

    Position: PG
    Height: 6-foot-2
    Weight: 180 pounds
    Age: 19
    School: Kentucky
    Analysis: Teague would’ve been a top-10 pick in 2013 had he decided to stay in school. Instead, he followed the rest of Kentucky’s stars into the draft. He could go as high as the mid-first round and I doubt he slips past the Pacers here. Adding Teague would allow Indiana to use Darren Collison as trade bait this summer.

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    Miami

    Draymond Green

    Position: SF
    Height: 6-foot-8
    Weight: 236 pounds
    Age: 22
    School: Michigan State
    Analysis: The Heat need players with experience who excel in bringing out the best in their teammates. Green can be a point-forward type who does a little of everything. Think of him as a better-passing Udonis Haslem.

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    Oklahoma City

    Evan Fournier

    Position: SG
    Height: 6-foot-7
    Weight: 206 pounds
    Age: 19
    Country: France
    Analysis: Fournier is the type of player that the Thunder can easily stash for a year or two in Europe. Or, given the high level he has played at in France, he might be able to come in and get minutes for them right away — especially if the Thunder decide they can’t afford to re-sign James Harden this summer.

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    Chicago

    John Jenkins

    Position: SG
    Height: 6-foot-4
    Weight: 212 pounds
    Age: 21
    School: Vanderbilt
    Analysis: The Bulls need a shooter, and Jenkins has one of the best strokes in the draft. His super-quick release and ability to finish at the basket make him an interesting prospect here.

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    Golden State
    (via Spurs)

    Jeff Taylor

    Position: SF
    Height: 6-foot-7
    Weight: 212 pounds
    Age: 23
    School: Vanderbilt
    Analysis: The Warriors really need some help at the 3 and at this point Taylor is a safe bet. He’s a terrific defender who can guard multiple positions, and he has become an adequate shooter off the catch.

  • Guy

    Sullinger doesn’t seem to fit in Denver. He’s not athletic enough for their style and now that there’s a question about his health I would just as soon go with Nicholson or Harkless. Just hope he goes before us so these other guys don’t move up. Just don’t see him here.

    • Ryan

      Agreed. He would be at the other end of the court gasping for air while the other 4 Nuggets rush down the court on a fast break. No chubby, bad-back doughboy for us please…

  • Duuuuuuuude

    Sullinger’s body fat percentage is about 10%, ignore his weight he’s just a naturally big dude. Whilst he wouldn’t fit with our fast break game, he is exactly what we need in slower paced games, especially the play-offs. We have no low post scoring option and no true 4 who can stretch the floor (Al Buckets is a slow, old 3 truth be told). Sullinger can bring both of those things to the table plus he rebounds. I’d bring him off the bench – we have enough athletes for Sullinger’s positives to outweight his potential negatives on the break.