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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Chad Ford Returns To Meyers Leonard For Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets still have the rest of April to play for the regular season, but they are hanging just on the outside of the NBA lottery. The Nuggets hold the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoffs for now, but plenty could change over the remaining weeks of the regular season. Right now, ESPN Insider's Chad Ford is predicting the Nuggets to select Illinois Fighting Illini center Meyers Leonard with the No. 17 overall pick:

Leonard is a bit of a project, but he's big and athletic and he'll play defense. He won't be a stud in Year 1, but he brings quite a bit of upside at this point in the draft.

Ford projected Leonard to the Nuggets in his first mock draft before turning to Kentucky's Terrence Jones in his second version. However, this time Ford sees Jones going to the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 12 overall.

The Nuggets do have Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos under long-term deals to play center, which could lead the team away from a center. But we're so early in the draft process that many things could change.

Check out SB Nation NBA and SB Nation NCAA Basketball for more on the 2012 NBA Draft.