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NBA Mock Draft 2011: Nuggets Choose Markieff Morris With No. 22 Pick

With the No. 22 pick in the SB Nation 2011 NBA Mock Draft, Denver Stiffs, our Denver Nuggets blog, chooses Kansas forward Markieff Morris. The Stiffs' Andrew Feinstein explains the choice.

Even though all the "power" forwards the Nuggets are hoping to draft at No. 22 (like Chris Singleton, Kenneth Faried and Tobias Harris) have been drafted before the Nuggets' slot, my esteemed colleagues at SB Nation somehow managed to miss on Markieff Morris, the lesser talented but bigger of the two Morris twins.

When drafting late in the first round (or early in the second round), I like power forwards who had a substantive impact for several years at a big time college program. Based on experience, these types of players are able to step into (at a minimum) a backup role immediately, which just so happens to be exactly what the Nuggets need if Kenyon Martin gravy-trains with the Dallas Mavericks as he's been threatening to do on Twitter.

Even if K-Mart were to re-sign, the Nuggets need to think about their power forward situation, something they should have done when they foolishly skipped drafting DeJuan Blair in favor of a draft-and-sell with Houston in 2009.

Without even having to look them up on Basketball-Reference.com, you know the names of the power forwards who came from big college programs, were drafted after the 20th pick and had immediate impacts on their respective teams: Blair, Jon Brockman, Darrell Arthur (another Jayhawk!), Carl Landry, Josh McRoberts, Paul Millsap, Leon Powe, Glen Davis, Jason Maxiell, David Lee, Brandon Bass and Ronny Turiaf. And that's just in the last six years!

Sure, we'd love to steal a Serge Ibaka, Tiago Splitter or Nicolas Batum here, but those guys are gambles and for every Ibaka, I can give you the names of 10 foreigners drafted after 20 that you've never heard of and will never hear of. Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri certainly knows foreign talent better than most, but if Morris is indeed on the board at 22, I don't see how the Nuggets could pass him up.

Follow this StoryStream to see our entire SB Nation mock draft play out over the next couple days. See our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage.