Mock drafts predict Mile High pick

Nuggets draft projections all over the map
by Aaron Lopez
Nuggets.com

Now that the NBA Draft order has been set, mock drafts are being updated on basketball sites across the Web.

The Denver Nuggets learned Tuesday that they will select 11th overall on June 26. It’s not a bad spot considering the 2014 draft class is being touted as one of the deepest in several years.

Here is a look at the projections for Denver from major sports sites such as ESPN, Yahoo, CBS and USA Today.

Gary Harris, Michigan State, 6-5, SG, sophomore, 17.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg

Randy Foye is coming off a career year, and they have Evan Fournier as a backup, but Harris is a potential upgrade over both players. Not only can he score from anywhere on the floor and play both the 1 and the 2, but he's one of the few lockdown defenders in the draft.

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Julius Randle, Kentucky, 6-9, PF, Freshman, 15.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg

Scout's take: "If he were to slide, it would be because he's a high turnover guy who is not the most skilled. He got by in college by bullying for points."

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Three NBA writers at CBS Sports had different opinions on Denver’s pick, presenting these three possibilities:

  • Adreian Payne, Michigan State, 6-9, PF, senior,15.8 ppg, 7.4 apg
  • Nik Stauskas, Michigan, 6-6, SG, sophomore, 17.5 ppg, 3.3 apg
  • Dario Saric, Croatia, 6-10, F, 12.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg

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Zach LaVine, UCLA, 6-5, SG, Freshman, 10.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg

For a player that wasn't even ranked in many recruiting services' Top 50 coming out of high school, LaVine's ascent has been astronomical. While he struggled late in the season, LaVine garnered a good deal of national exposure. He's got a highly intriguing combination of explosiveness and shooting ability. A second year in Westwood to get stronger and possibly work on his PG skills likely would have been beneficial, but that wasn't in the cards. LaVine is a player who will likely take some time to become a contributor, but his upside is among the very best in the this draft. Probably the biggest boom or bust pick... Who's ready to roll the dice?

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Gary Harris, Michigan State, 6-5, SG, sophomore, 17.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg

The shooting guard raised a few eyebrows by measuring 6-foot-21Ž2 without shoes at the combine (he measured 6-41Ž2 with shoes). And his three-point shooting dipped to 35.2 percent from 41.1 percent as a freshman. Still, Harris ranks as one of the best defenders in the draft, and he has the potential to build a solid all-around game.

SheridanHoops.com

Gary Harris, Michigan State, 6-5, SG, sophomore, 17.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg

Smooth and aggressive are two of the first words many around the NBA use to describe Harris. In two seasons in East Lansing, Harris showed he is a capable scorer that can attack the rim and defend but needs to improve as a shooter. Harris’ stock suffered a bit at the combine when he measured in at a shade under 6-3. While a bit short for your prototypical shooting guard, Harris is a prospect to watch during predraft workouts as I am told he is a strong competitor and very polished off the court as well. Denver is on the verge of returning to the playoffs and will want a player that can provide them with the instant contribution that other rookies cannot.

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DraftExpress.com

Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia, 6-11, C, 11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg