Sophomore seasons are always an important step for young players in the NBA. What kind of leap will Jordan Hamilton be taking in his second year in the league? Can he be an important contributor for the Nuggets this season?
Hamilton didn’t get much run as a rookie, averaging only 9.9 minutes per game. He appeared in only 26 games and started just twice.
His final season averages: 4.4 PPG and 2.4 RPG, while shooting 43.2 percent from the floor and 36.2 percent from three.
That being said, Hamilton did get the start at small forward in the season opener, since Danilo Gallinari missed the game because of an ankle injury. Hamilton only played 13 minutes though and finished with four points, six rebounds and two assists.
The Nuggets are so deep across the board that it’s unlikely Hamilton is going to get enough playing time to make a significant contribution. He’ll have to share minutes with Gallinari (when healthy) and then both Wilson Chandler and Corey Brewer, both of whom logged at least 20 minutes of action in the opener.
That leaves little court-time for the second-year forward.
Depth isn’t an issue for George Karl at any spot on the floor. The Nuggets have two highly capable point guards in Ty Lawson and Andre Miller, and then Andre Iguodala, Brewer and Evan Fournier can all play the two. We already ran over the situation at the three, and then Kenneth Faried, Anthony Randolph, Kosta Koufos, JaVale McGree and Timofey Mozgov will all get minutes in the frontcourt.
That, my friends, is depth and that is what Karl has become accustomed to as head coach of Denver. They may not have superstar names, but guys like Hamilton may be called upon here and there and are expected to contribute.
Watch out for the Nuggets this season. They could definitely make some noise and may be worth a hard look with your NBA picks.