Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate Denver nuggets Community!

Always viewed as an underdog, Ron Baker is simply looking for a chance to prove himself at the NBA level

Harrison Wind Avatar
May 22, 2016


For a lot of projected second-round and undrafted prospects, all they’re simply looking for is an opportunity.

The chance to show off their craft in front of NBA personnel, get feedback, make good impressions and establish relationships that will hopefully get them a call on the day of the draft or soon after for Summer League, is the goal of many of the lesser-known prospects the Nuggets have hosted during their first two days of pre-draft workouts.

It’s an opportunity former Wichita State guard Ron Baker, who worked out with the Nuggets this weekend, isn’t taking for granted

“It’s a business trip mindset,” Baker told BSN Denver.

Over his four years at Wichita State, Baker played in 124 games, racked up 1,636 points, and was a career 36.9 percent shooter from three. He’s played in multiple Missouri Valley Conference championship games, has seen the court in the Final 4, Elite 8 and Sweet 16, and finished his career just six triples shy of the school record. But all those accomplishments still leave Baker on the outside looking in with just over a month to go until the draft.

Baker’s projected to go undrafted next month, but it’s nothing new for the Western Kansas native who has been overlooked his entire career.

The 6-foot-4 guard came to Wichita as a walk on but quickly established himself during his freshman year as a force in the Missouri Valley. Baker helped the Shockers reach the Final 4 in 2013, was an integral part of the group that was 34-0 heading into the NCAA tournament in 2014, and finished his career out by leading the team in scoring and helping Wichita State to a third-consecutive league title.

Shooting is obviously the 23-year-old’s calling card, but Baker knows his defense will ultimately determine if he can make it in the league, at least that’s the feedback he’s been getting from NBA evaluators.

“They really appreciate how hard I work and how hard I play defense,” Baker explained. “If you play good defense, they’ll find a spot for you. Also, they want to see me be more efficient as far as shooting. If I can shoot the ball at a high level, and play defense and rebound, I think I’ll find a spot in this league.”

Baker measured well at the combine last week. He stands at 6-foot-4 with a 6’9.75″wingspan and registered a healthy 35.5″ maximum vertical. However with those measurements, Baker would be wise to work on his ball skills so he can get on the floor more and see time as a backup point guard who can stretch the floor from three. Hailing from Western Kansas, Kirk Hinrich, who played his college ball at the University of Kansas, was actually the guy Baker looked up to and modeled a lot of his game after.

“I’m alright with playing the one,” Baker said. “Reading ball screens, options, and making the right decisions off of them is something I feel I can work on and get good at.”

Baker is working out with former NBA player and color analyst for the Clippers broadcast, Don MacLean, who trains NBA players during the offseason. He’s living in Los Angeles this summer and already visited the Lakers for a workout before he arrived in Denver.

The rangy shooter may benefit come draft day and could catch on with a team simply because of his shooting. It’s a skill that so vital in the league today, especially for a team like the Nuggets who have been close to the bottom of the league in 3-point efficiency over the past couple years.

His shooting, along with his intangibles are what could get him a spot at Summer League this July, at least that’s what his college coach Greg Marshall thinks. Marshall has been an important figure throughout Baker’s life and has given him valuable guidance throughout the pre-draft process.

“He just told me to enjoy this, soak it all in, get a lot of rest, make good decisions with your days off,” Baker said. “Just be yourself. These teams ar going to fall in love with your work hard, so have fun. It’s pretty simple – the little things, those little things go a long way.”



Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

The Comment section is only for diehard members

Open comments +

Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?