If you just read their vital stats, you’d think the Denver Nuggets were working out a pair of offensive or defensive linemen in their latest pre-draft workout.
Without any background, the picture the Nuggets posted on Twitter might make you think the same thing.
In reality, Denver had two of the stars of the 2017 NCAA Championship Game in the house in one of their final workouts before next week’s draft.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) June 16, 2017
At 6-foot-10 and 260 pounds, Kennedy Meeks was the biggest of the big men on North Carolina’s national championship-winning squad. In the title game he scored seven points over 22 minutes and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
But for as big as he is, Meeks is almost, well, meek in size compared to Gonzaga’s mountain of a man, Przemek Karnowski. At 7-foot-1 and 300 pounds, the Torun, Poland native looks more like a nose tackle than an NBA big man. Yet his speed, stamina and surprisingly delicate touch have him on the precipice of becoming the next really big thing in the Association.
Karnowski posted a stat line very similar to Meeks in the ‘Zags runners-up performance against the Tar Heels. His nine points and nine rebounds came in 29 minutes on the floor. He was a smooth 7-for-9 from the free-throw line.
Denver already has a formidable big man in rising star Nikola Jokic, so it’s unclear how either of these behemoths would fit into a rotation. At 6-foot-10, 250 pounds Jokic is slightly undersized as a center, but we saw last year when he was paired with Jusuf Nurkic that a ‘twin towers’ lineup didn’t jive well.
Jokic is classified as a power forward, yet his strongest game on both ends is underneath the basket.
Both Meeks and Karnowski are average passers, so they would bring a very different game as possible backups to Jokic should Denver select either one in next week’s draft.