Nuggets keeping it close to home with first pre-draft workout

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The Denver Nuggets will commence their annual pre-draft workouts on Monday, May 22 and with their first workout they’re keeping things close to home.

According to a team release, Denver will welcome three players who played their collegiate ball in the Centennial State to Monday’s workout.

The full list of players* scheduled to participate are as follows:

Gian Clavell, 6-4, 185, Colorado State G

Nelson Kahler, 6-9, 230, Colorado State Pueblo F/C 

George King, 6-6, 220, Colorado G

Yante Maten6-8, 240, Georgia F

Eric Mika, 6-10, 230, BYU F

Jacob Wiley, 6-7, 220, Eastern Washington F

*Players subject to change

Clavell was the main catalyst for a CSU Rams team that finished runners up in both the Mountain West regular season and conference tournament this past season. CSU finished 24-12 overall and 13-5 in the conference, just behind Nevada.

As a senior, Clavell earned numerous honors, including NABC First Team All-District 17, USBWA All-District First Team, Mountain West Player of the Year (media and coaches), All-MW First Team and MW All-Defensive team. He led the Mountain West in league scoring at 20.4 points per game, including four games of 30 points or more. Clavell also ranked in the top 10 in the league in seven other categories, leading in minutes played (36.6 mpg) and ranking second in steals (2.0 spg) and 3-pointers made (2.9 3pg), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (.386) seventh in defensve rebounds (4.9 drpg), seventh in field goal percentage (43.0) and eighth in overall rebounding (6.3 rpg).

Kahler is the lone D-II prospect among this group to receive an invite. The big man from down under (Noosa Heads, Australia) led the ThunderWolves to a 19-9 record (17-5 RMAC) as a senior. He was named the RMAC Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-RMAC First-Team in 2017.

King is perhaps the most surprising name on this list, even more so than Kahler. Not because of his game, but because earlier this week news broke that King was returning to Colorado for his senior season. King declared for the draft in late April, then on Tuesday said he was returning for a senior season with Tad Boyle and the Buffaloes. So his name on this list seems a little odd.

As a sophomore in 2015-16, King was named the Pac-12 Conference Most Improved Player of the Year averaging 13.6 points and 4.7 rebounds a game while leading the league in 3-point shooting at 45.6 percent (68-of-149). His percentage was the second-best single-season performance in team history. His numbers took a slight step back in 2016-17, but that was the case for just about every Buffalo not named Derrick White.

White has been turning heads across NBA circles, so it will be fun to see if the Nuggets will bring the Legend High School (Colorado Springs) in for a workout down the road like this select group of Colorado hardwood stars.

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