The LB NBA Mock Draft: Denver Nuggets Pick Zach LaVine No. 11 Overall

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the 11th pick in the conducted-by-BLOGGERS LB Mock Draft, the Denver Nuggets select Zach LaVine

It's my pick in the LB Fake NBA Draft, and I really hate this current version of the Denver Nuggets.

The 2012-13 squad was so fun, watching those guys run gave you as good a high as the drug that's legal in Colorado. Heck, I was a big Nuggets-under-George-Karl supporter dating all the way back to the Carmelo days.

This year's Denver team nosedived into NBA no-man's land and ran nose first onto the treadmill of mediocrity. Danilo Gallinari never returned from his torn ACL. J.J. Hickson and Nate Robinson getting bit by the ACL bug didn't help.

To make matters worse, Kenneth Faried's big step forward on the offensive end of the ball was completely wasted by the fact Denver had no competent big to pair alongside him. Faried desperately needs a tall human being to just protect the rim and block out while The Manimal cleans up the glass like a human vacuum.

JaVale McGee only played 5 games in Brian Shaw's first season as head coach, paving the way for Timofey Mosgov to play all 82. His oafiness was so aggravating, I had to stop watching Denver by February, even though Ty Lawson was magnificent this year. In fact, witnessing Mosgov's three-point buzzer-beater attempt sequence probably took five years off my life.

Still, they have three draft picks and you could do a lot worse than a Lawson-Gallinari-McGee foundation if Shaw can get through to McGee and he's healthy.

But that lineup needs someone who can shoot it and run alongside Lawson in the frontcourt. That guy is Zach Lavine out of UCLA.

Denver Stiffs proprietor Nate Timmons is hoping Denver trades the pick for an impact veteran. But if the Nuggs do make a selection at this spot, they might as well go with an athletic player with worlds of upside. Here's what Nate had to say about the selection:

My best hope is that the team selects a player with "boom or bust" talent and Zach LaVine fits that profile. He's super athletic (as seen with his 46" vertical in the Lakers workout), but can also really shoot the ball. The Nuggets are in the market for a shooting guard for the future and LaVine could fill that role. With Randy Foye as the incumbent, the team is set for a season or two until Zach is ready to step into the starting role.

There are defensive concerns with LaVine and I've read some rumblings about his work ethic, but he's such a young kid that, in the right environment, he has tons of time to grow and mature. It's hard to imagine a more exciting pick for the Nuggets and fans would be thrilled with LaVine's potential.

Initially, I was a big supporter of the Sixers selecting Gary Harris at No. 10 to pair with Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. But with the way LaVine has performed during this pre-draft process, it would be difficult to accept Sam Hinkie picking Harris over a potential stud like LaVine.

Today, I want Zach LaVine in the Wells Fargo Center. I want him with that No. 10 pick. But if LaVine can't come to Philly, I think Denver is a perfect situation for him.

Tomorrow, Sean O'Connor will handle #12 for the Orlando Magic.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Joel Embiid
2. Milwaukee Bucks - Andrew Wiggins
3. Philadelphia 76ers - Jabari Parker
4. Orlando Magic - Dante Exum
5. Utah Jazz - Noah Vonleh
6. Boston Celtics - Aaron Gordon
7. Los Angeles Lakers - Julius Randle
8. Sacramento Kings - Marcus Smart
9. Charlotte Hornets - Nik Stauskas
10. Philadelphia 76ers - Gary Harris
11. Denver Nuggets - Zach LaVine
12. Orlando Magic

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