NBA Free Agents 2011: Should the Denver Nuggets Re-Sign Wilson Chandler?

Rich KurtzmanSenior Analyst IJune 3, 2011

Wilson Chandler goes to the hoop with ferocity, using his size and amazing athletic abilities.
Wilson Chandler goes to the hoop with ferocity, using his size and amazing athletic abilities.Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets' front office was brilliantly busy last season, Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri's first with the team.

The two were the focal point of all trade talks as Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets' only superstar, wanted out of Denver.

Kroenke and Ujiri wheeled and dealt, getting a multitude of offers from a variety of teams. And just as it seemed the team took too long to choose compensation, the Nuggets' front office materminded the most massive deal done in NBA history.

Denver dominated the trade. They came away with five young players that could impact the franchise for years to come.

But, with seemingly too much talent (the Nuggets' bench is basically as solid as the starters) the front office has much work still to do.

Kroenke and Ujiri—likely with input from longtime head coach George Karl—now have to decide with diligence which players to keep and which to let go.

At the top of that list is Wilson Chandler, a 6'8" small forward who possesses much of the same game Anthony did, but plays defense too.

Although his shooter's touch isn't as sweet as Anthony's, Chandler knows how to create off the dribble in order to open up space and get shots off. Still, he fades from the hoop too often and his shot struggles to fall when he's off balance.

But beyond his solid shooting, Chandler can get to the rim with a quickness and when he's there, Chandler usually finishes with explosiveness.

When it comes to rebounding, Chandler can be seen giving supreme effort on the boards, sometimes skying above others to snag them.

Yes, Chandler's a reputable rebounder, but he still needs to work on getting in better position and out-muscling opponents for loose balls.

When on defense, Chandler's quick feet surprises opponents as he is above average at staying in front of his man. Chandler uses his size as an advantage too, he knows when to play physical, scrappy defense and he understands how to frustrate opponents.

And Chandler utilizes that size to sway some shots into the crowd, eliciting excitement and changing the momentum of games in the Nuggs' favor.

But probably the biggest weakness surrounding Chandler is his attitude that is suspect at times.

When things aren't going his way—whether it be missing shots or not getting enough passes—Chandler gets out of his element, out of his comfort zone and pouts a bit.

And when the pressure was on in the playoffs, Chandler shrunk under the brightest lights, putting up pitiful performances.

But it shouldn't be forgotten that these were his first playoffs, and that the team was thrown together with only six weeks to prepare for the postseason.

Chandler is a young player (entering his fifth season), who already has an able all-around game and he has the potential to grow even further.

The Nuggets should definitely re-sign Wilson Chandler—he's got size and an amazing athletic ability—but realistically he could be starting on a number of teams in the NBA, so he's got to be willing to back up Danilo Gallinari.

Gallinari, a 6'10" Italian that plays the same position as Chandler, is in the favor of Karl because of that size, his sweet shooting touch (Dirk Nowitzki Jr. anyone?) and he's already a top-earner of free throws.

So basically, it's a joint decision to be made by the Nuggets' front office, George Karl and Wilson Chandler. The front office has to decide if he's worth re-signing in a monetary sense, Karl needs to know how he would use Chandler and Chandler himself has to come to terms with being a backup with the Nuggets or trying free agency for a starting role elsewhere.

The Nuggets were lucky to land Wilson Chandler in their massive Melo move of 2011, they should not mess up this opportunity of having a potentially great player within their franchise for years to come.

Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being the CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman is a Denver Nuggets and NBA Featured Columnist for, the Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for, a weekly contributor to, a contributor to writing on the Denver Broncos and a contributor to Blake Street Bulletin, part of ESPN's SweetSpot Blog Network.

Rich also manages K-Biz and Beezy, a Colorado-based rap group.

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