Wilson Chandler: Winners and Losers for When Chandler Joins Nuggets

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 18, 2012

DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  Al Harrington #7, Raymond Felton #20, Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith #5 and Chris Andersen #11 of the Denver Nuggets look on as they face the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. 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 Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Wilson Chandler hasn't signed with the Denver Nuggets yet, but when he does, it's going to create a log-jam of epic proportions.

Denver beat write Aaron Lopez—who apparently "tweets from the huddle"—says that Chandler hopes to be with the Nuggets by Sunday or Monday.

Wilson Chandler says he hopes to be with the #Nuggets Sunday or Monday.

— Aaron J. Lopez (@Lopez_Nuggets) March 16, 2012

When Chandler inevitably returns to Denver after playing basketball in China, his minutes, unless the Nuggets are planning on playing for double OT every game, are going to have to come from somewhere. Or more appropriately, someone.

Here's a look at who's happy and who's sad about Chandler making his return.


Winner: George Karl

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02:  Had coach George Karl of the Denver Nuggets gestures to the referees in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on February 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Denver won 112-91.   NOTE TO USER: User exp
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

When Chandler is on his game, he's the ultimate role player. He can score in a hurry when he's lighting it up from deep (1.2 threes made per game with Denver last year), but he's also very long, which makes him a nuisance on defense.

Last year in Denver, Chandler averaged 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 0.7 steals per game. 

Adding a versatile athlete to the rotation is always a good thing for the coach, even if it means he has to get creative with his lineups. 


Loser: Arron Afflalo

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22:  Arron Afflalo #6 of the Denver Nuggets scores on a layup against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on February 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by dow
Harry How/Getty Images

By the end of the Oklahoma City playoff series last year, Afflalo had taken the starting job from Wilson Chandler.

Afflalo has carried that role into this season, and he's done a good job scoring the ball, but he might just be keeping the starting job warm for when Chandler returns. It might take a couple weeks for Chandler to crack the starting lineup, but he provides more size and versatility than Afflalo.

Afflalo makes more sense as a pure scorer for the second unit. 

Even when he is dropped from the starting lineup, however, don't expect Afflalo's minutes to fall off completely. That will happen to Corey Brewer and, to a lesser extent, Rudy Fernandez, who have both been getting less than 20 minutes per game lately.


Winner: Ty Lawson

Whenever you add someone who knocks down the open shot, it will always make the point guard, who is pass-first, happy. 

More weapons means a spread-out defense. A spread-out defense will make things a lot easier on Lawson and Andre Miller.


Loser: Al Harrington

Harrington is right around 30 minutes per game, but I think the addition of Chandler will give George Karl an excuse to push Harrington's minutes down to around 20-25.

That's not so much because Chandler is better, but because Karl will want to save the 32-year-old with recent knee troubles for the playoffs.