Colorado State center enjoys workout with the Nuggets

Colton Iverson among a dozen prospects in predraft session
by Aaron Lopez

When the Denver Nuggets began their run of 10 consecutive playoff appearances in 2004, they went up against the top-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves.

At that time, Colton Iverson’s allegiances were clear-cut.

“Coming from South Dakota, you have to cheer for all Minnesota teams,” Iverson said. “The Minnesota Timberwolves are definitely a fan favorite for the state. I grew up rooting for them and Kevin Garnett back in the day.”

After a stellar season at Colorado State University, Iverson is on the verge of joining Garnett in the NBA.

Iverson, the 2012-13 Mountain West Newcomer of the Year, held his own Monday as the Nuggets held their first predraft workout on the Pepsi Center practice court. He is projected as a second-round pick but his stock has been rising over the past two weeks.

“He’s really helped himself,” Nuggets director of player personnel Mike Bratz said. “He had a great workout here. He was very good (at the predraft camp) in Chicago. A lot of people have taken notice of him. He’s going to have a good evening on draft night.”

Athletic and physical, the 7-foot, 260-pound Iverson, averaged 14.2 points and 9.8 rebounds while helping Colorado State advance to the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.

With the ability to set solid screens, he can be very effective in the pick-and-roll and has shooting range out to about 15 feet.

Asked what NBA scouts are telling him, Iverson said he’s been told to keep things simple.

“Do what you do best: be physical, rebound, be kind of a bully in the lane,” he said. “I’ve been working on my jump shot. That’s one thing teams really want to see me improve. I’ve been working hard and I’m getting more comfortable with it.”

Denver was Iverson’s sixth stop in his predraft tour. He has several more lined up leading up to the June 27 draft.

“It would be a dream of mine to play for to Nuggets,” he said. “Just to be in this practice facility is truly a blessing.”

Iverson was among 12 prospects who worked out for the Nuggets, who hold the 27th pick in this year’s draft.

Others of note included North Carolina swingman Reggie Bullock, St. Mary’s guard Matt Dellavedova, Missouri point guard Phil Pressey, North Texas forward Tony Mitchell, South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters and Kansas center Jeff Withey.

“We want to see them in a workout situation with our coaches,” Bratz said. “We talk to the coaches and see how they might fit in. It’s another tool (in the evaluation process).”

The Nuggets will hold another workout Tuesday. Expected participants are Wake Forest point guard C.J. Harris, who also worked out Monday; Arizona point guard Mark Lyons; Detroit guard Ray McCallum and Colorado State swingman Greg Smith.