Nuggets evaluate shooting guards in first predraft workout
The search for No. 20 is underway.
With five weeks remaining before the 2012 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets held their first predraft workout Tuesday with scouts, coaches and front office staff in attendance. Denver currently holds the 20th overall pick in the June 28 draft.
Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins, Washington guard Terrence Ross and Missouri State guard Kyle Weems were the first three players to work out on the Pepsi Center practice court.
It marked the first private NBA workout for Jenkins and Ross, who did their best to calm their nerves and stay focused as they try to realize their NBA dreams.
“On my way to the arena I had some butterflies,” Ross said. “After a while, though, I got settled down, got my head on straight and when I came out on the floor, it just felt normal.”
Having worked out for three other teams previously, Weems had a better idea of what to expect. He still came away impressed by the Nuggets.
“Amazing,” he said. “It was very organized. A lot of members of the organization were in here watching the workout. They were into it, they were focused. The coaching staff is really specific on what they wanted from guys.
“They don’t want you to do too much. They want you to shoot a three or attack the rim. By them keeping it so simple, it’s going to be great for their draft process.”
Each of the players at Tuesday’s workout brought strong credentials to Pepsi Center.
Weems, 6-6, 226, averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds as a senior at Missouri State. As a junior, he was selected as the 2010-11 Missouri Valley Conference player of the year.
Ross, 6-6, 195, averaged 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds as a sophomore last season and was named to the 2011-12 All-Pac-12 first team.
Jenkins, 6-4, 220, helped lead Vanderbilt reach the NCAA Tournament by averaging an SEC-leading 19.9 points and shooting .439 from three-point range as a junior in 2011-12. He also was named to the all-conference first team for the second year in a row.
The Nuggets will take a look at several more players leading up to the draft. In addition to the 20th selection, they also have the 38th and 50th overall picks.
Denver took Kenneth Faried with the 22nd pick nearly a year ago. After waiting patiently for an opportunity, Faried stepped into the starting lineup in early February and became a key part of the Nuggets’ rotation in the final three months of the regular season and playoffs.
On Tuesday, Faried was named to the 2011-12 NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Will Denver find another diamond in the rough? Check Nuggets.com for information about draft workouts and much more throughout the offseason.