The Denver Nuggets hold the No. 20 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, but head coach George Karl is making sure to temper the expectations of fans. Even after striking gold with Kenneth Faried with the No. 22 pick in the 2011 Draft, Karl tried to set the bar lower than that by saying he doesn't think the 20th pick will be better than Jordan Hamilton or Julyan Stone, as noted by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post. Perhaps that's just a way to pump up the players already on the roster and reinforce the organization's confidence in them before a new player joins the fray, but it's a decidedly odd basketball thought from Karl. Here is some of what he said, via the Denver Post:
"I don't want to burst anybody's bubble, but I don't think the 20th pick in this draft is going to be better than Jordan Hamilton or Julyan Stone...If Jordan is in this draft, he'd be in the top 10. And if Julyan goes in the draft, he'd be going right around where we pick."
This draft class is considered especially deep in the mid-first-round, and some very talented players could slip to where the Nuggets are selecting. Jared Sullinger was a projected top-5 pick in last year's draft, but he returned to school and now a medical red flag with his back could cause him to slip in 2012. Utlra-talented forward Perry Jones III may also be available, and the Nuggets could also be eyeing point guard Kendall Marshall or Iowa State forward Royce White as well.