With the NBA draft right around the corner, this time of year is all about the stories and there aren’t many as exciting as the rise of Derrick White – the Parker, Colo. product who went from being overlooked to now being talked about as a first-round pick.
The star first at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and then at CU-Boulder participated in a guard-heavy pre-draft workout for the hometown Denver Nuggets Monday morning, their final workout before Thursdays draft.
White headlined the workout as the home-town kid, but five other prospects displayed their skills in front of Nuggets personnel at Pepsi Center on Monday. Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson), Damyean Dotson (Houston), PJ Dozier (South Carolina), Andrew White (Syracuse) and Matt Williams (Central Florida) all hope to hear their name called in Thursday’s draft.
Here’s a quick look at each player, and how they might fit in with Michael Malone‘s team.
White is a 6-foot-4 guard who led the University of Colorado in scoring his senior year, averaging 18.1 points and 4.4 assists per game. In his senior year, White was named to the Pac-12’s 2017 All-Conference First Team, All-Defensive Team and All-Tournament team.
Nuggets fit: White is an all-around scorer who also defends at a high level. Offensively, he scores off the dribble and has the size to play both guard positions, which’ll make him a combo guard in a semi-crowded Nuggets front-court. With his high basketball IQ, White would be a great fit for the Nuggets and a cornerstone for the future.
Blossomgame is a 6-foot-7 forward out Clemson who showed dynamic athleticism in the ACC this past year as he averaged 17.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. In his career he racked up some impressive accolades, including being named to the 2017 All-ACC Third Team, 2016 All-ACC First Team, 2016 ACC Most Improved Player and also the 2016 NABC All-District Second Team.
Nuggets fit: Blossomgame is a bit older, which should give him a bit of a physical advantage over other rookies this year. He is also older than a few of the Nuggets young core, so it shouldn’t take much development of his game from a physical standpoint. He runs the floor well and cuts to the rim, which translates to the Nuggets fast-paced offense. His versatility makes him an interesting fit with the Nuggets.
Dotson is a 6-foot-6 guard from the University of Houston who put up big numbers for the Cougars. He averaged 17.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his senior season. His list of accomplishments include being named to the 2017 All-AAC First Team, 2017, NABC All-District Second Team, 2013 Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and the 2013 Pac-12 All-Tournament Team.
Nuggets fit: Dotson is a player who literally does it all. He scores, he defends, he rebounds, and he can shoot the ball. He shot 44 percent from beyond the arc and has shown signs of improvement shooting the ball each year in college. While Dotson is not an elite defender, he’s sound fundamentally and guards well on the perimeter, while also showing the athleticism to not only start the break but finish in traffic. Dotson will be a good role player for any team.
Dozier is a 6-foot-6 guard out of South Carolina who averaged 13.9 points and 2.8 assists per game. Dozier is remembered for performing well in the NCAA tournament in which he put up 15.6 points and 4.8 rebounds a game for the Gamecocks on their magical run.
Nuggets fit: Dozier can be a utility player who goes after it every play. He sees the court well and possesses positive ball-handling skills that can free him up. While he doesn’t have an advanced offensive skill set, he makes up for it with his upside on the defensive end of the court. He’s a disruptive defender that uses his big frame to frustrate guards, and it’s no secret that the Nuggets need perimeter defenders.
White is a 6-foot-7 forward out of Syracuse who showed that he can score with the best of them as he averaged 18.5 points per game. White bounced around a bit throughout his college career but found his place in his junior and senior season, putting up massive numbers. His senior year he was named to the 2016-17 Third Team All-ACC.
Nuggets fit: White can shoot the ball. He shot 40 percent from beyond the arc as a senior. While White at Syracuse, a team known for its zone defense, he showed the size, strength and athleticism to be a versatile defender on the wing. White will make his mark on the offensive end shooting the ball, and all teams could use a shooter.
Williams is a 6-foot-5 guard from Central Florida that showed that he can light it up from anywhere on the floor. Last year he made the most 3-pointers in the nation and set a UCF record from beyond the arc.
Nuggets fit: All NBA teams are looking for consistent shooters. White also shows that he is athletic for his size with a great motor. He runs the floor well and has showed that he can be a playmaker with the ball in his hands.
Denver currently holds the 13th, 49th and 51st selections in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft, scheduled for June 22 at