Mar 22, 2014; Spokane, WA, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Gary Harris (14) celebrates against the Harvard Crimson in the second half of a men

NBA Draft 2014: Top Five Draft Prospects For The Denver Nuggets


Editor’s Note: This is a guess post from Justin Becker of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can him on twitter @NBAandNFLInfo or on theFantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page, and for morefantasy basketball news visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues – afantasy basketball blog

The Denver Nuggets had a fantastic season during their 2012-2013 campaign. They set a franchise record with 57 wins and had a nice run in the playoffs. However, injuries haunted them this season and led to a disappointing year. They ended the season 36-46 and missed the playoffs by 13 games. Although they expect players to be healthy next season, they still need some help to get them back to winning.

Their starting lineup will be focused on Ty Lawson at point guard, Kenneth Faried at power forward and Danilo Gallinari at small forward, if he’s healthy of course. Other than that, they need help to fill the center and most importantly the shooting guard. J.J. Hickson can start at center, but his small size would be better coming off the bench. Randy Foye was a pretty good shooting guard, but the Nuggets can do better than him and upgrade at that spot.

With the 2014 NBA Draft being one of the deepest the league has seen in a while, the Nuggets should be focused on improving their roster via the draft. With the eleventh pick in the draft, that should be easy. The should be most focused on finding a wing player with that pick and shouldn’t have a lot of difficult doing so. Here are five players that should be targeted by the Denver Nuggets:

Nik Stauskas

Stauskas would give the Denver Nuggets exactly what they needed at the shooting guard position. He’s an excellent shooter who is most effective working off screens, with the catch and shoot play. As a freshman at Michigan, he made 44 percent of his three pointers. He became a very high-class player this year, becoming the team’s main focus on offense.

Stauskas held a 21.89 player efficiency rating, outstanding for a college shooting guard. He’s a versatile shooting guard that can shoot the ball at a high rate, especially from long-range. He’s quick with his release, making it hard to defend. He also shows a lot of strength at the free throw line and also has very good handles with the ball. He can improve with his strength and quickness, but that can be added at the next level. He would be a great fit for the Denver Nuggets.

Gary Harris

Compared to Stauskas, Harris isn’t as good of a shooter. However, Harris is a great defender. He also did a great job of getting to the rim and finishing there, as well as shooting off the dribble. As far as player efficiency rating goes, he ended with a 22.18. He’s a strong, physical guard with a solid midrange game. He’s a great athlete, quick on his feet, with good handles and an excellent motor.

Some aspects of his game that need to be worked on are his consistency, adding range to his shot and not letting his smaller size be seen as a weakness. Harris would bring the Nuggets everything they want. They would get a shooting guard who is always in attack mode. They will also get added liability on defense, which any Western Conference team can use.

James Young

James Young is a long small forward who could really help the Nuggets. He has the body of a great defender, although his defense needs a little work. He stands at 6-foot-5 with a 7-foot wingspan. He has a lot of improving to do at the next level, but he would have time if he was drafted by the Nuggets. I think it would be smart for Denver to go after a small forward if they can’t get a hold of a shooting guard because Gallinari isn’t totally liable yet. He could get injured just as quick as he makes his return. So, having someone to back him up wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Young is a super-scoring wing player with excellent penetration. He’s improving his range, which would be lethal at the next level. He also has a good motor and the ability to become an elite defender, much like Kawhi Leonard with the San Antonio Spurs.

Doug McDermott

I don’t see how Denver can pass up Doug McDermott if he is still on the board when they pick. He’s lethal from anywhere on the court and has a very high basketball IQ. Basketball has been his whole life and he won’t disappoint in the NBA.

McDermott’s player efficiency rating is just unreal. 32.73 is an amazing statistic and shows how efficient he is. He’s a smart, heady forward that knows how to score the ball. He finished fifth on the all-time college scoring list. He’s an elite three-point shooter and has a high basketball IQ due to being the coach’s son. He also brings an excellent motor and the will to win. McDermott needs to add strength and work on his conditioning, but other than that he will be a great pick by the Denver Nuggets.

T.J. Warren

Picking Warren with the eleventh pick would be better than most people expected. He is currently projected to go around the 15th pick, but he can easily help out any team. He would give the Nuggets a wing player. He’s a versatile forward who can score from the inside and outside. He’s a very strong and tough player, who has proven to be a natural scorer. He’s got a great feel for the game and established a very good down low game. He does a great job of getting to the rim and finishing, as well as getting to the free throw line.

Warren is a bit of a tweener and isn’t an elite athlete. He also lacks deep range on his jumper, but that can easily be improved at the next level. He can also work on his defending skills. He is 20 years old, so he can easily make those improvements within the next few years. However, he would still be able to contribute right away and be the wing player that Denver is looking for in this draft.

Tags: Denver Nuggets NBA Draft 2014