Found October 13, 2013 on
Hardwood Gold Rush:
2013-14 is an important season for Wilson Chandler and the Denver Nuggets (Photo: Chris Humphreys, USA Today Sports)
The Denver Nuggets will be counting on Wilson Chandler this season to be a main contributor on offense and defense. Chandler will be the Nuggets starting small forward while Danilo Gallinari recovers from a knee injury and will be the team’s best perimeter defender after the departure of Andre Iguodala in the offseason.
Chandler is quite possibly the most versatile player on Denver’s roster. Capable of playing three positions effectively, this makes Chandler very valuable to the Nuggets while Gallinari gets healthy. Once Gallo returns, Chandler might be the starting shooting guard, as head coach Brian Shaw has hinted at. He could also see some time at the already crowded power forward position, as a stretch four.
The transition to full-time starter for Denver should be a smooth one, as according to 82games.com, four of the top five lineups with Chandler on the floor include JaVale McGee. Three of those lineups also included Ty Lawson. This bodes well for the Nuggets starting squad this season after losing two starters this offseason in Iguodala and Kosta Koufos.
Chandler does not come without concerns, as he is one of the most injury-prone players on the roster. Since joining the Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony trade, Chandler has only appeared in 84 of 190 possible games that Denver has played. However, 45 games were missed due to Chandler signing with a Chinese team during the NBA lockout. Not counting those games lost to China, Chandler has still only been available for 57% of the Nuggets games.
Most of the games Chandler has lost to injury since becoming a Nugget are related to hip problems and surgery. Prior to the Melo trade, Chandler had two surgeries on his left ankle and it remains a concern for him. With three more seasons (including 2013-14) and over $20 million due, Denver has to be concerned that Chandler could turn into another Kenyon Martin situation.
The Nuggets would like to have a healthy Chandler on the floor this season after winning 66.7% of the games he played in during the 2012-13 season. Chandler was on an absolute tear after returning from hip surgery last season putting together one of the best stretches of his career. He is also a .788 career free throw shooter, which was an area the Nuggets struggled in last season. This makes keeping him healthy a priority this year.
There were rumors circulating around the trade deadline last February that Chandler was not happy and expected to be traded before the deadline after some vague tweets were posted on Twitter. Moving him in a deal should not be out of the question for the Nuggets if they can return value. Nothing will likely happen until after Gallinari returns. But if Denver is thinking about including him in a trade, they will want to consider doing so before he gets injured again.
Whether the Nuggets have him in their future plans or plan to include him in a future trade, they will need to get the most out of Chandler in 2013-14. So far, he has missed the team’s first two preseason games due to injury – hopefully this is not foreshadowing of what is in store this season.
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The post Wilson Chandler: Denver Nuggets 2013-14 Profile appeared first on Hardwood Gold Rush.
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