NBA Rumors: Adding Wilson Chandler Would Make Nuggets Western Conference Threat

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 5:   Wilson Chandler #21 of the Denver Nuggets waits in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

With the end of his Chinese team's season on the horizon, swingman Wilson Chandler will soon make his way back to the NBA. While he would help a number of teams, re-signing with his former team, the Denver Nuggets, would make them Western Conference contenders.

According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Chandler's agent Chris Luchey said that the versatile player has every intention of rejoining the Nuggets. Similarly, the Nuggets have made it their top priority to bring Chandler back into the fold.

Although Chandler has only played four NBA seasons, he has developed into an integral player as he averaged at least 14.4 points per game in every season since his rookie year. Not only can Chandler spread the floor and nail three pointers, but he also is a good defensive presence who can play on the ball and crash the boards as well.

The Nuggets have been struggling as of late with five consecutive losses since beating the Los Angeles Clippers, but they have the depth to do damage come playoff time. Not coincidentally, Denver's slide started when star forward Danilo Gallinari was lost to an ankle injury that will keep him out for at least a month.

After dealing Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks last season, most expected the Nuggets to regress down the stretch. What happened instead, however, was that the team played unselfish, team basketball and made the playoffs with ease.

That team concept has continued as six players are averaging at least 11 points per contest. Also, nine players receive at least 16 minutes of playing time per game, so it's safe to say that the Nuggets have the deepest team in the league. Chandler would only serve to make them that much deeper.

Most teams who have success in the NBA have at least one stud player, but it hasn't always been that way as the Detroit Pistons won a title several years ago with a strong starting five. If Denver succeeds in re-signing Chandler, not only would they have a great starting lineup, but they could literally go 12 deep while still maintaining quality.

As of right now, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs are probably the favorites in the Western Conference. Neither the Thunder nor the Clippers are locks since they're both still learning how to win, while the Lakers and Spurs have collectively old teams.

The Nuggets have a nice blend of youth and veteran leadership and Chandler could be the missing piece of the puzzle. Acquiring Chandler wouldn't make Denver the favorite in the Western Conference by any means, but it would make the Nuggets a very dangerous team to contend with.