#NuggetsRank No. 15: Quincy Miller

Kicking off Roundball Mining Company’s 15-part #NuggetsRank series is Quincy Miller. At No. 15, he was a unanimous selection by our writers for this spot. Though young and still wildly in need of improvement, Miller is also teeming with the type of raw potential that very few Nuggets possess.

I remember watching Miller in his first days at Baylor. With Perry Jones sidelined due to suspension, Miller was the unquestionable top dog and go-to scorer through most of his initial games as a freshman. Fellow RMC readers took notice and even mentioned in the comments section of several posts how they adored the possibility of seeing Miller in a Nuggets uniform.

Well, their wish came true.

Miller faded throughout his freshman campaign, losing the luster he possessed through the first handful of games with Jones sidelined. As a result he dropped all the way to the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft where the Nuggets selected him 38th overall. To many Nuggets fans this was not only the steal of the draft but a more valuable pick than who the team took with its first-round selection in unknown Frenchman, Evan Fournier. However, just weeks later at Summer League, these perceptions would be quickly reversed.

While Fournier looked comfortable, Miller looked lost. He rebounded well, played solid defense and was often in the right position he needed to be in to make plays, but the assertiveness displayed by rookies and bench players looking to make a name for themselves at Summer League was totally absent from Miller’s game. Either he was not properly prepared for the level of competition seen in Vegas or he just wasn’t comfortable in his own shoes quite yet.

I have a feeling it was the latter.

The thing fans must keep in mind with Miller is this: He’s young. Outside of phenoms such as LeBron James or Kevin Durant, it’s rare that anyone coming off one year of college (or straight out of high school) is ready to tackle what’s in store for them at the NBA level. Even guys like Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose took their fair share of time to develop before they started appearing on MVP ballots year in and year out. In some cases players even peak at 19 (believe it or not) and can’t seem to ever find that fountain of youth again.

The point is: Everyone develops at their own rate. At this period in time, Quincy Miller just isn’t as far along as his other 14 teammates. A lot of this is likely due to the slow recovery he underwent after tearing his ACL during his senior year of high school. What can’t be ignored, however, is that prior to his injury Miller was once seen as the best player in his class, which included the likes of Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Austin Rivers.

Though it may not seem like it, this is actually a big year for Quincy Miller. With so many talented players and only a certain amount of court time, another trade seems destined to appear on the horizon. Miller must be ready to prove he belongs in the NBA. Even if he spends some of his rookie campaign in the D-League (which seems likely), it’s crucial that he shows progress along the way.

If I had to guess, I’d say he’ll be ready for the challenge of playing at the next level. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miller roughly 14 spots higher on this list in the not-too-distant future.

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  • Costanza

    Great write up. I also think he has a long long way to go but also has star potential. This is when GK not playing rookies is good. He needs time to work on his game and his body before being thrust out there. Gallo better show that Allstar talent again soon cause the q mill is coming for his job.

    I actually thought he was worthy of pick 20 but to get him as well the talented Frenchman… Great draft

  • Costanza

    I’ve never been so excited for the nuggets- and the future is bright

  • eolson

    Can’t wait to see what this guy has in store!
    Also, this player rank series is awesome! Can’t wait for the rest

  • John

    I love that QMiller, who has boundless potential, is the lowest ranked Nugget. Speaks volumes for their depth.

    Can’t wait for this team to grow together. Gonna be awesome.

  • SmokinNugs

    You think in the not-too-distant future Miller will be 14 spots higher than 15?!?!

    Where can I get some of what you’re smoking?

    • Kalen

      I just said I “wouldn’t be surprised.” :)

  • NateTimmons is a culero

    I think Quincy Miller will be an integral part of the future and I look forward to watching him re-gain his lottery pick type status and potential.

  • dynamo.joe

    I hope you guys are right. See you a season from now Quincy.

  • Aaron

    How Many Teams Can Say “Our Worst Player May Have The Most Potential.”

    I’m Just Trynna Figure Out if That’s a GREAT Thing Or TERRIBLE Thing?

  • TJ McBride

    I’m very excited to see what Quincy Miller can do once he gets comfortable. While he has a smooth shot, the best part of his game are his finesse post moves. The way his game is set up, if he bulks up, he could take massive steps forward. While some people say that Quincy’s ultimate ceiling is a Kevin Durant type player I do not agree. If he bulks up I see him being more of a Josh Smith type of player with more range. I am very excited to see what Melvin Hunt and Steve Hess can do to progress Quincy’s game.

  • Jeff

    I haven’t really followed Quincy Miller, just heard of him and seen highlights. What is all the potential people are talking about? Not trying to knock him but I just don’t understand what’s so great about him. He doesn’t seem very athletic and he’s not a killer shooter. Right?

    • Kalen

      He’s not a freak athlete and no, he’s not a great shooter either, but he’s very skilled — I’ll just say that. He doesn’t do anything great, but he seems to do everything really well. As he keeps developing his shot and working on his handle, he’s going to see massive improvements in his game.

    • Aaron

      He Has Great Moves And Knows How To Play The Game Of Basketball.

    • Charlie

      He has all the tools to be a really good offensive player. Great scoring instincts and ballhandling skills to play either forward spot in the NBA. That’s a highly coveted combination when it comes to prospects because the NBA is evolving in a way that favors being able to create those types of matchup problems.

      Plus, he’s only 19 years old and by all accounts, still getting better. Missing his Senior year of high school was an enormous setback.

      • https://twitter.com/denbutsu denbutsu

        Makes me wonder if he entered the draft a year too early. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad the Nuggets were able to scoop him up. But it seems likely that his development, and perhaps his career by extension, might have benefited from staying in school one more year.

        • Costanza

          By all accounts a potential lottery pick if he stayed as well. Massive steal for nuggets at pick 38.

      • Die Hard Baylor Fan

        At least he will have a chance to improve in the D League. Where he should see some better teams/players. Its not like he is finding his way to the starting lineup.

  • Joel

    Wait, I thought this was going to come out faster than ESPN’s rankings… ;)

  • dynamo.joe

    And there we have it, Ty Lawson #48 in ESPN Rankings.

  • GK4Prez

    How much can you really judge him off of his summer league performance. I know Kalen hinted at how other players were trying to win a spot in the league, but the Nuggets summer league team really didn’t have a pg on the roster, and he played with the bench, which is basically the worst of the worst to try to showcase individual talent with.

    He is very skinny (Hess has will be busy). I am sure that building his strength is what the Nuggets will attempt to do with him this season.

    I am not sure if I would rate him behind Stone or not. Stone really has shown much either, but whatever, he would still be 14th even if he were voted ahead of Stone.

    • https://twitter.com/denbutsu denbutsu

      It’s definitely true that the lowest rankings are somewhat arbitrary. Your question, “How much can you really judge him…” applies, as you said, also to Stone as well as to Fournier. We simply haven’t had the opportunity yet to see them compete much against NBA-level competition. So I think we’d readily concede that we’re operating off limited information in comparison to the other players.

  • Eddie

    Gentlemen, place your bets.

    #1 Lawson
    #2 Gallinari
    #3 Iguodala