With the 59th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs opted against selecting an international player as most expected and picked Missouri guard Marcus Denmon.
Denmon was a four-year player at Missouri, and while he played shooting guard in college, at 6-3 he’ll have to work on becoming a point guard in the NBA.
Denmon, who has been Missouri’s scoring leader the past two years, can certainly put points up on the board. He’s an efficient shooter, but he can knock down shots from NBA three-point range even when not spotting up and is a capable shooter off the dribble.
In his senior season at Missouri, Denmon averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He shot 46 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arch.
For his size, Denmon appears to be an above average rebounder, likely due to his 33.5 inch standing vertical jump, which measured up as fourth best at the NBA combine.
Fellow Bloguin blogger Ed Isaacson interviewed Denmon for NBA Draft Blog.
“Great kid, I think he will eventually be a PG, uses screens really well, great in transition,” Isaacson told me of Denmon following the draft. ”He finds ways to get looks so not sold size is issue and he can really pressure the ball on defense.”
The Spurs’ focus on offense could play into Denmon’s favor.
“If he goes to one of the five or six teams that play at the pace Missouri played at, his value would be higher to them,” Isaacson said. “That’s an underrated part of all this: fit.”
If the Spurs bring back Patty Mills, they could be stockpiled with undersized shooting guards/scoring point guards in Gary Neal, Mills and Denmon. There is also word that Nando De Colo could be making his way stateside next season, so Denmon’s immediate NBA future is still in question.