While the Denver Nuggets may have a record of only 7-12 and currently sit 10th in the West, if it weren’t for a brilliant start to the year by Wilson Chandler, who knows what that record may be. The 29 year old out of DePaul University is playing arguably his best basketball of his career in this still early 2016 season. There is no denying the huge role that Chandler plays on this Nugget team, even if it is while being the 6th man. Chandler not only provides great scoring and rebounding abilities but he also brings a great veteran presence to this baby bunch of Nuggets. But even with that being said, is it time for the Nuggets to explore trading their great 6 foot 8 small forward?
Ever since the Nuggets sent shockwaves around the association when they traded their superstar Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, the strength of Denver has been its depth. This season is no different as they boast one of the deepest, and youngest teams in the NBA. For the most part that’s been a positive, but it is slowly becoming a problem for the Michael Malone led team. There simply are too many players deserving of additional playing time on this team and not enough spots on the court for them. This is where trading Chandler comes in, as his value has never been higher. Below we have two players, X and Y, and their stats next to the corresponding player:
Player X: 18 G, 37.5 MPG, 20.3 PPG, 4.7 TRB, 1.4 AST, 44.8 FG%, 30.2 FG3%
Player Y: 17 G, 30.6 MPG, 18.5 PPG, 7.5 TRB, 1.6 AST, 47.7 FG%, 34.3 FG3%
Now let’s take a look at how much each of these players are making this season:
Player X: $22,116,750
Player Y: $11,200,000
From taking a look at the blind stats, you can see that player Y is having a better season than player X, while playing less minutes per game. While player X may be averaging more points, it is fair to think that if given equal playing time then player Y would average the same, if not more points. Even while playing around 7 minutes less per game, player Y has averaged more rebounds per game, and averaged more assists per game while shooting better from the field. Then if you take into account player Y is making about 50% less than player X it is clear to see that player Y would be much more appealing to any team.
Time to see who these mystery players are:
Player X: Harrison Barnes of the Dallas Mavericks
Player Y: Wilson Chandler of the Denver Nuggets
Wilson Chandler is a making about 50% less than Barnes while playing just as well, if not better, and is under contract until the end of the 2018-2019 season for a very reasonable price. Especially in this day and age where players like Allen Crabbe and Luol Deng make 18 plus million dollars per year. It is not that those players are bad it’s just in this new era NBA, the contracts seem to be getting bigger and bigger each season. So not only would any team willing to trade for Chandler be getting a plus scorer who can fill the stat sheet in other ways, but he also comes with a great contract and team control for a couple more years.
A potential Chandler trade would allow Mike Malone to give more minutes to the young guns that this team is trying to build around such as, Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic, and Kenneth Faried who all average under 24 minutes a game each respectively. It would also allow for Juancho Hernangomez to see a minute uptick as well. While the Nuggets would be losing their best player right now, it would truly open up the opportunity for the Nuggets to see if their core group of young players they want to build around are good enough to carry this team back into the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-2013 season. While many love the young talent that the Nuggets have been able to stockpile since GM Tim Connelly took control in 2013, the smartest move may just be to trade some of it away.