Wilson Chandler: Winners and Losers for When Chandler Joins Nuggets
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
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
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
Who will be the biggest loser?
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.
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