Given the changes the Denver Nuggets have gone through the past few months, Wilson Chandler is looking like the man who will be starting at the small forward when the season tips off.
From losing Danilo Gallinari to injury at the beginning of the playoffs to losing Andre Iguodala at the beginning of the free agency signing period, the team lost most of their depth at 3 spot. The next player in line to be the starter is Chandler, with not much competition to battle him.
Evan Fournier, Jordan Hamilton and Darrell Arthur are others who can also play some small forward, but Fournier is more suited for the shooting guard position and Arthur at the power forward. Hamilton has a chance to show new head coach Brian Shaw that he’s worthy of the job, but if he couldn’t win over George Karl the past couple years, there shouldn’t be that big of expectations this next season.
Though not expected to become an All-Star type of player, Chandler will need to increase his level of play while Gallinari is out. Chandler has proven that he is capable of scoring at a high level from time to time and fits well with Denver’s style of play.
Chandler, one of the pieces acquired by Denver in the Carmelo Anthony blockbuster deal, has three more seasons left on his contract that he signed in early 2012 after finishing his stint in China. Before leaving the country, he put up solid numbers in the 2011 season averaging slightly more than 15 points and five rebounds.
Chandler can spread the floor with his ability to finish at the rim to go with his level of strength and athleticism. He also shot a career-best 41.3 percent from the three-point line this past season, providing more options for the Nuggets athletic offense.
With Ty Lawson the only other player still in Denver that was in the top five scoring last season for the team, can they rely on Chandler for a bigger scoring load?