While the Nuggets selected an international talent in Evan Fournier with their first round pick in the 2012 NBA draft, they still held two picks in the second round.
The Denver Nuggets finished the 2012 draft by selecting Quincy Miller at pick no. 38 and Izzet Turkyilmaz with the no. 50 pick.
Miller, a 19-year-old small forward, comes to Denver after playing one season at Baylor University. Miller averaged 10.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.4 steals while shooting 47.5% from inside the 3-point line.
Miller was a highly-ranked high school recruit, but tore his Achilles tendon in December before joining the Baylor team. He was able to recover from his injury to earn the Freshman of the Year award in the Big 12.
Miller is a versatile forward who has shown an ability to score all over the floor. He measures at 6’10″ and 219 lbs, meaning that he can be bullied in the post on defense, but he has shown an ability to use his 7’1″ wingspan to swat away the ball as it leaves the hands of the player he is defending. Defenders only shot 28% on jumpers while being guarded by Miller. His lean frame also results in him struggling to drive to the rim, as defenders are able to bump him off-balance and alter his shot. He is at his best on offense either shooting after setting his feet or moving into the paint while in transition.
“I definitely love the way they run. They are a good passing team, they pass fast, they get to the cup fast, they get to the free throw line and they run,”Miller said at a workout with the Nuggets. “And that’s the way I play.”
Miller’s college numbers reflect closely to Rudy Gay and Luol Deng, while John Hollinger of ESPN ranked him as the sixth best player in the draft. His recovery from the ACL injury is a cause for concern, but if he can continue to gain explosiveness and strength while developing his jump shot, the Nuggets will have found a good value early in the second round.
With their final pick of the night, the Nuggets selected Turkyilmaz, a 22-year-old forward out of Turkey. The 7-1, 220-pound foward most recently played for Bandirma Banvit and appeared in 26 games during the Turkish league as well as eight games for Bandirma in the Eurocup in 2011-12.
Turkyilmaz played sparingly, averaging 9.3 minutes per game. His appeal to the NBA is his jump shooting ability combined with his size. While the Nuggets will debate on when to bring Fournier across the Atlantic, there will be no such discussion with Turkyilmaz. The Nuggets will retain rights to him while allowing him to play in the Turkish League and develop his game further.
About the Author
Written by Daniel Lewis
Deputy editor of digital content for Brigham Young University newspaper, The Universe. Native of Denver, Colo. He likes to ride his bicycle.