The first round of the 2024 NBA Draft begins next week on Wednesday, June 26th. A second round takes place the next day. The Denver Nuggets currently possess the 28th and 56th overall picks. With the Nuggets coming off of a painful second round defeat in the playoffs, there’s no telling what General Manager Calvin Booth and the Nuggets brain trust decide to do. Will they keep the picks, trade up, trade down, or move them for a veteran contributor? Everything’s on the table, so let’s discuss a wide variety of players in this week’s NBA Draft Positional Previews.

Other Position Previews

Point Guards | Shooting Guards | Small Forwards | Power Forwards

Five Center Prospects

Yves Missi – Baylor

Age: 19 | Height: 6’10.8″ | Weight: 229 | Wingspan: 7’2″

Per Game Stats: 22.9 minutes, 10.7 points, 0.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 1.1 turnovers

Shooting Splits: 61.4 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 61.6 FT%, 62.2 TS%

Yves Missi is built like a brick wall and can jump to the sky. He looks the part of an athletic, rim rolling big man who can catch lob passes, finish through traffic with dunks, and command a lot of attention in the middle of the floor. His defense looks the part of a strong rim protector as well, contesting with verticality in the pick and roll or sliding over from the weak side to block shots. He’s still very young and has a lot to learn, but the foundation is clearly there.

For the Nuggets, they need a backup center that can play immediately. Missi wouldn’t need to play heavy minutes for the bench unit behind Nikola Jokic, but he would have to demonstrate more consistency. Still, the Nuggets haven’t had a legitimate lob threat on their team simply rolling to the rim every possession. Aaron Gordon catches lobs, as does DeAndre Jordan, but a young, athletic center rolling down main street every single time would be interesting. Missi probably won’t be available at 28, but he would be fun to watch in Denver.

DaRon Holmes II – Dayton

Age: 21 | Height: 6’9″ | Weight: 236 | Wingspan: 7’0.5″

Per Game Stats: 32.5 minutes, 20.4 points, 2.6 assists, 8.5 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 2.2 turnovers

Shooting Splits: 54.4 FG% 38.6 3P%, 71.3 FT%, 62.7 TS%

DaRon Holmes is the belle of the ball on Nuggets Twitter with a skill set that’s really impressive and versatile. Holmes is slightly undersized at 6’9″ but makes up for it with coordination and skill level. He can post up, shoot threes, make passes on the move, and handle the ball in dribble handoff situations. That’s extremely helpful for any team, but especially a team that runs sets through their center position as often as Denver does. Holmes is also a solid defender, not spectacular, but good enough to hold his own.

Reportedly, the Nuggets have made a promise to Holmes with their 28th pick that caused him to end his workouts with other teams. From what I’ve heard, that report is a good one, and it makes a lot of sense. The Nuggets have a hole in their lineups without Jokic, and Holmes has the best skill set in this class to at least replicate some of those actions. The real question is whether Holmes will still be on the board at 28 and if the Nuggets would be willing to trade up and ensure they get him.

If he’s a Nugget by the end of Wednesday night, fans should be extremely happy.

Zach Edey – Purdue

Age: 22 | Height: 7’3.8″ | Weight: 299 | Wingspan: 7’10.8″

Per Game Stats: 32.0 minutes, 25.2 points, 2.0 assists, 12.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 2.3 turnovers

Shooting Splits: 62.3 FG% 50.0 3P% (1-of-2), 71.1 FT%, 65.9 TS%

By far the most polarizing player in the draft class, Zach Edey dominated the college level for several years because he was bigger and stronger than everyone else. He will still be bigger than everyone else in the NBA, but the athleticism and speed of the game will be a challenging adjustment. Mobility in space will be a challenge for him, just as it is for almost every drop coverage big man. Offensively, there aren’t that many concerns if a team is willing to feature him in the post rather than play faster, and he also isn’t a floor spacing threat.

The Nuggets are used to playing a slower pace and featuring a post up threat in Jokic, so it would be interesting to see them do something similar with Edey. The only backup big man the Nuggets could use as a featured scorer in the last few seasons was DeMarcus Cousins, and the team adapted pretty well to his skill set. Could they do the same with Edey? Is that worth a first round pick, especially for a player they probably can’t use in the playoffs? Maybe. Let’s get weird.

Kyle Filipowski – Duke

Age: 20 | Height: 6’10.8″ | Weight: 230 | Wingspan: 6’11”

Per Game Stats: 30.4 minutes, 16.4 points, 2.8 assists, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 2.1 turnovers

Shooting Splits: 50.5 FG% 34.8 3P%, 67.1 FT%, 57.3 TS%

Kyle Filipowski is a versatile offensive big man who was a top recruit and spent the last two seasons at Duke. There, he refined his offensive game and showcased an ability to do a variety of things, from post up, to pick-and-pop, to running DHOs as the ball handler and receiver, and more. He’s fluid and plays more like a wing than a big, though he takes advantage of his size well when switched onto someone smaller. He will find success as the fulcrum of a bench offense somewhere.

The Nuggets could of course use that kind of skill set. Filipowski would allow for some versatility and creativity in Denver’s second unit in ways a player like Missi or Edey would not. The Duke big man will need to improve his strength as a defender and post presence, but there’s a lot to like about a player who can, in theory, operate as the fulcrum of a five-out offense. If the Nuggets are looking for a savvy, skilled big man that can play fast, Filipowski can handle that assignment.

Oso Ighodaro – Marquette

Age: 21 | Height: 6’9.5″ | Weight: 222 | Wingspan: 6’11”

Per Game Stats: 32.5 minutes, 13.4 points, 2.9 assists, 6.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.8 turnovers

Shooting Splits: 57.6 FG% 0.0 3P%, 62.3 FT%, 59.0 TS%

Oso Ighodaro was the primary roll man for Tyler Kolek at Marquette, and the two of them helped lead Marquette to the Sweet 16. Ighodaro played center in college, but there’s a possibility that he’s too small to handle the position in the NBA. The problem: he’s not a shooter and can’t space the floor at another position. Perhaps he can grow as a spacer throughout his career though, and it would help highlight some of his other impressive traits as a passer and switchable defender.

The Nuggets have consistently played small with their second unit, so perhaps it’s not as much of an issue. Ighodaro would excel in a switch-all scheme, and his ability to hit floaters and be a playmaker on the short roll would be functional in Denver’s bench lineups. Perhaps he could also play power forward next to Jokic while operating around the dunker spot. There’s merit to that, and added size in the frontcourt is always a boost, even if Ighodaro isn’t a seven-footer.