Denver Nuggets Big Board: Digging for gold in the second round

In the final edition of our Big Board series we’ll be taking a look at an array of prospects slated to be available in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft. Because this half of the draft is so unpredictable and because I did not get a chance to watch some of these players, there will not be a designated order in which they appear. These are simply the best players, in no specific order, forecasted to land outside of the first round in the eyes of most draft aficionados.

(Key: The Nuggets possess the 38th and 50th picks in the Draft. Those who appear underlined are players who may be available with the 38th pick in the Draft but will likely be off the board by the 50th pick. Those who appear in italics are players I covet most.)

Doron Lamb // Kentucky // Shooting Guard

An extremely underrated player at this point. Probably the second best shooter in the Draft next to John Jenkins. Has great range and can score in a variety of ways going to the basket. Undersized for a shooting guard but likely won’t be asked to do much besides score off the bench. Possible second coming of Jason Terry.

Jared Cunningham // Oregon State // Shooting Guard

One of the best pure athletes in the Draft. Biggest strength is his quickness and defense which results in a barrage of steals. Was selected to the Pac 12 All-Defensive Team twice. Regarded as the best defensive player in his conference by a wide margin. Can play both point guard and shooting guard. Loves to get out in transition.

Orlando Johnson // UC Santa Barbra // Shooting Guard

Fantastic offensive talent. Never average less than 18 points per game during his career in Santa Barbra. Shot 43 percent from 3-point range last season. More well rounded than people realize. Has an excellent frame and solid athleticism. Can score from anywhere on the court. Put up monster numbers against top-level competition including a 36-point, 10-rebound, four-assist, two-block, three-steal performance against UNLV.

Kyle O’Quinn // Norfolk State // Center

One of the fastest risers in the Draft. Won MVP at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Was the driving factor in Norfolk State’s upset of Missouri in the first round of the NCAA Tournament where he put up 26 points, 14 boards and two blocks. Stands 6-10 in shoes with a 7-5 wingspan. Has decent post moves but can rebound and block shots at a very strong rate.

Jae Crowder // Marquette // Small Forward

Won Big East Payer of the Year in just his second season as a Division 1 athlete (after transferring from a junior college). One of the strongest players in the Draft. Very undersized for a power forward at 6-4, but can play other positions. Had one of the more eye-popping statistical seasons in college basketball. Can do virtually everything on the court well except create his own shot. Seen as one of the most underrated prospects in the eyes of many stat geeks.

Mike Scott // Virginia // Power Forward

Scout after scout raves about him being the steal of the Draft. He has a fantastic mid-range game and polished jump shot that rarely misses the mark. Range extends out to 3-point range. Played at a slow pace at Virginia but still put up great numbers. Very efficient scorer. Reminds many of Udonis Haslem. Can contribute immediately.

Darius Johnson-Odom // Marquette // Shooting Guard

A shooter who thrives off jump shots and driving to the basket. Underrated as an athlete. Has great intangibles and is an extremely hard worker. Somewhat limited outside of scoring. Doesn’t do much else besides shoot. Has been very vocal about wanting to improve. Wants to defy his detractors.

Kevin Murphy // Tennessee Tech // Shooting Guard

A pure scorer who dropped 50 midway through the season. Is one of the best players in the Draft at creating his own shot. Can light it up from beyond the arc. Has good size for a shooting guard. Improved in other areas of the game as his career progressed. Can get tunnel vision at times.

Eric Griffin // Campbell // Power Forward

An absolute freak of an athlete. Was known last year for a series of incredible dunks. Started playing basketball at a very late age. Is still maturing but has shown phenomenal improvement in just four years. One of the best shot-blockers in the Draft. Could be a steal at 50 but will need time to develop before he’s a contributor at the next level.

Scott Machado // Iona // Point Guard

Led the NCAA in assists last season. Has outstanding court vision. Loves to push the pace. Is essentially Kendall Marshall at half the price. Has a toned frame but is somewhat diminutive. Not a great scorer. Needs to continue improving his shot from outside.

Furkan Aldemir // International // Power Forward

Put up ridiculous rebounding numbers in the Euroleague Tournament. Manages to get points even though he’s not a great offensive player. Is an average athlete but rebounds like his life depends on it. Needs to bulk up and improve his post-scoring tactics.

John Jenkins // Vanderbilt // Shooting Guard

Best shooter in the Draft. Flat-out incredible from deep. Does a good job of scoring off screens and finding the open spot on the floor for a pull-up jump shot. Led the SEC in scoring each of the past two seasons. Doesn’t do anything besides shooting at an elite level but does everything well and plays the game the right way. Some question his mediocre athleticism.

Marcus Denmon // Missouri // Shooting Guard

Very undersized for a shooting guard. Had an outstanding season scoring the basketball and leading Missouri to a No. 1 ranking in the country. Shot better than .460 percent from the field, .400 percent from downtown and .895 percent from the line. Has NBA range and then some. Size appears to be a serious hindrance according to many scouts.

Khris Middleton // Texas A&M // Small Forward

Was ranked as a potential first rounder prior to the start of the season but suffered injuries and inconsistent play thus damaging his draft stock. One of the more creative players in the Draft. Has a very intriguing midrange game. Needs to improve his jump shot. Could be excellent value if he’s dedicated to improving.

Terrell Stoglin // Maryland // Point Guard

Is listed at 6 feet without shoes but looks much smaller. A pretty awful passer for a point guard. Is really a shooting guard at heart. Not a great defender because of his size. Led the ACC in scoring as a sophomore. Can light it up in a variety of ways, including from downtown. Has an impressive handle and can penetrate with speed when needed.

Festus Ezeli // Vanderbilt // Center

Some believe he’s the best center in the Draft. Didn’t have the type of season many predicted he would. Is still very raw on offense and has concrete hands when it comes to receiving passes from his teammates. Has great physical tools including a chiseled frame and lengthy wingspan but doesn’t always utilize them as best he can. Would likely be tempting to select. Still has a long way to go before he’s an NBA pro.

Robbie Hummel // Purdue // Small Forward

Was once considered a first rounder. Sat out the entire 2010-11 season with his second ACL tear. Injury history will almost certainly play a role in his NBA career if drafted. Is an excellent shooter for a power forward. Can open the floor up for his teammates. Has one of the best basketball IQs in the Draft. Very good passer. Never forces the issue. Lets the game come to him. A hot name at this point in time.

Kevin Jones // West Virginia // Power Forward

Had a truly great season last year averaging 20 and 11 as a senior. Can stretch the floor but tends to fall in love with shots he doesn’t often make. Is a much better low post threat where he scores in a variety of ways. Has a soft touch around the rim. Plays with childlike enthusiasm. Finds a way to get things done in the face of adversity. Meteoric rise raises questions about his long-term success in the NBA.

Kim English // Missouri // Small Forward

Had a breakout season as a senior averaging nearly 15 points per game for one of the best teams in the country. Had a great showing at the PIT. Has been lighting it up from distance in workouts. Isn’t much more than a shooter but can stroke it with efficiency. Also not a great athlete. Fairly one dimensional but competes on both ends of the court.

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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.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • El cabron Mexicano

    Wheres Jorge Gutierrez? Thats messed up ese

    • Kalen

      I swear, if more scouts had him on their mock drafts I wouldn’t hesitate to put him on here. Funny you mentioned him as I was just thinking about why we haven’t hear his name in the second-round discussion this year. I still think he has the ability to be a great defender at the next level.

      Lo siento.

      • King

        Kalen do you think it’s because of his race?

        • Kalen

          Absolutely not. The NBA is one of the more diverse sports leagues in the world. He’s just not a great athlete and won’t be able to score at the next level. I think as a really late second-round flyer he might be worth the shot just because he’d be a great teammate, hard worker and potentially a lock-down defender.

  • Poz_303

    Nice list of possible 2nd round draft choices for Nuggets. I dont think Jenkins will be there at 38 but Doron Lamb might be and would be a nice SG for the Nuggets. Having said that, there are so many choices here that I would be more than happy with. Your first four listed would all be great at 38.

  • Zack

    I doubt Jenkins or Ezeli are still on the board at 38. I hope Doron Lamb is there at 38. He took (and made) some big shots for Kentucky last season. IMO he’d be a steal at 38 (especially if he turns into a player like Jason Terry, 6th man who will score and will be in at the end of the game).

  • asdqqq

    A few more guys who are in the mix:

    Jeff Taylor – Elite defender, great athlete, solid spot up 3 point shooter. I’d really like this pick if he drops to the second.

    Kostas Papanikolaou – An Omri Casspi type player. Good defender, high motor, high basketball IQ. A stash pick, won’t come over this year.

    Tomas Satoransky – Scrappy wing player, but not a great shooter. Another stash pick.

  • DH

    The interesting thing about the Nuggets’ position at #38 is that it seems likely that there will be some solid future NBA players who will be picked just ahead of that. For example, DraftExpress has Quincy Miller, John Jenkins, Tyshawn Tayor, and Doron Lamb all going in the second round, ahead of the Nuggets’ pick.

    If players like that are available, I would like the Nuggets to try to move up into the beginning of the second round. If they can do that, it’s entirely possible that the Nugs could end up with two of the players they were considering at #20 (for example, Nicholson/Jenkins or White/Miller).

    If we stay at #38, and if nobody unexpectedly drops to that spot, I would be thrilled to get Orlando Johnson. If not him, I would be very happy with Kyle O’Quinn or Kevin Murphy. If not them, then I would be satisfied with Kim English or Mike Scott.

    As for #50, I want the Nuggets to take the young foreign player with the most upside, then stash him overseas for a few years.

  • arda

    Hey,Guys I’m from İstanbul and i say if furkan wasn’t under 2 year contract he would be a first round pick.İf anybody heard about CSKA MOSCOW this year AK-47 Kristic(former Celtics center) Teodosic(Best player of Serbia) and many more defeated by Galatasaray for the first time and Furkan is playin center for Galatasaray.He is at Turkey National Team but he doesn’t get much time cuz there is OMER ASIK ,ENES KANTER, type players and he was young.He ll shine in 2 years.İf anybody gets him in the first round,it wouldn’t suprise me

  • FstbrkJM

    Cunningham from Oregon State would be a nice grab in R2. It’s not very often you come across a kid who loves to play defense. I like his versatility & he would do well running the court with Ty.

    Mike Scott REALLY intrigues me. I agree that he could be the steal of the draft. I’m curious to see what Crowder can do at this level but not sure he’s a good fit for us. Would take Scott instead.

    Hummel would be an interesting free agent signing if no one picks him up.