NBA Draft's Top 3: Centers

With the Denver Nuggets holding the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, is taking a look at the top prospects at each position.
by Aaron Lopez

Today’s focus is centers. The Nuggets opened the season with JaVale McGee in the middle, but he appeared in only five games due to a stress fracture in his left tibia. Power forward J.J. Hickson drew the starting assignment until late-February, when he was supplanted by 7-footer Timofey Mozgov.

Mozgov thrived in the post, averaging 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds in the final 27 games as the starter. He and McGee are expected to compete for the starting job in training camp.

Joel Embiid

College: Kansas

Age: 20

Height/Weight: 7'0"/250 lbs.

Along with Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, Embiid rounds out the “Big Three” of the 2014 Draft class.

Embiid averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 points as a freshman at Kansas, but his season ended on a sour note as he missed the final six games while sitting out with a stress fracture in his back. He has alleviated the injury concerns during predraft workouts over the past few weeks.

If healthy, Embiid has the potential to be a beast at both ends of the floor. He has a 7-foot-5 armspan that give him big-time shot-blocking ability, and scouts rave about his footwork in the low post.

Embiid grew up playing soccer and volleyball and has less than five years experience on the hardwood, so it may take him a little longer to adjust to NBA competition. Given his high ceiling, he could be worth the wait.

Bottom line: After showing that his back shouldn’t be an issue, Embiid has a chance to be the No. 1 overall pick.

View Prospect Profile: Joel Embiid

Jusuf Nurkic

Country: Bosnia

Age: 19

Height/Weight: 6'11"/280 lbs.

View Prospect Profile: Jusuf Nurkic

Mitch McGary

College: Michigan

Age: 22

Height/Weight: 6'10"/255 lbs.

View Prospect Profile: Mitch McGary

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