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Nuggets sign Wilson Chandler for five-years, complete Ujiri’s master plan of athletic wing army

Mar 18, 2012, 8:37 PM EDT

Wilson Chandler, Kobe Bryant AP

Took them long enough, but Denver got their guy.

The Denver Post reported Sunday that the Nuggets have signed free agent Wilson Chandler:

Chandler spent the year in China expecting a prolonged lockout, then was released from his contract when his team was eliminated from play in the CBA and allowed to return stateside. There had been questions if Denver would bring him back with the emergence of Danilo Gallinari and the acquisitions of Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez. But Denver knew they could get get good value on Chandler, and brought him back.

The deal is reportedly five-years, $37 million which puts it above the $30 million mark reported earlier but still significantly cheaper than what teams pay for worse players (oh, hi Orlando, didn’t see you there). It now means that the Nuggets have a wing rotation of:

Arron Afflalo

Danilo Gallinari

Wilson Chandler

Rudy Fernandez

Corey Brewer

Jordan Hamilton

and they play some two-point-guard lineups with Andre Miller as well. This after the Nuggets had questions about whether they would be able to field the minimum roster at the start of the year. The Nuggets are deep, but the same questions they’ve had remain. Chandler had the ability to score 40 under Mike D’Antoni in New York, but struggled to adjust in Denver, especially in the playoffs last year. They still lack a go-to guy. But having Chandler for depth and versatility is a great get. He’s still in a good place in terms of youth and health, and has a great skillset.

Another good move for Denver.

  1. losangelasbasketball - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Love how the whole 2010-2011 Denver roster abandoned George Karl, quality character right there… wish those knuckleheads were still in china…

    • denverhoopdreams - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:56 PM

      What are you even talking about?

  2. rushbacker - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Chandler is a nice piece to have back, and obviously moving Nene makes the money work. The concern about Denver lacking a “go-to” guy is a little bit overblown in regards to taking shots at the end of games– Ty Lawson and Aaron Afflalo have developed sufficiently in the role to feel fairly comfortable with them playing it. No, neither of them resembles Durant, but most other teams don’t have a guy like that either.

    The more legitimate concern is whether the lack of an individual premiere scorer will hurt them in the playoffs, when most opponents can force the tempo down to a half-court grind for long stretches. It’s particularly worriesome to a team that struggles to earn easy points from the free throw line, even when they do get there with regularity. Denver has to make up for it with consistent defensive intensity, which allows them to generate chances to run. They have the personnel to do it, and have shown that they can play good defense when they’re focused. They don’t always put it together for 48 minutes like they’ll have to in the playoffs, though.

    Short term, they can be a very tough out if they can get their roster healthy and get some chemistry– particularly on defense. Or a pretty easy out if they struggle to score in the half-court, and miss a ton of free throws.

    Long term, it will be interesting to see if they continue with this model, or at some point try to effectively reverse the Anthony deal by packaging some of their assets to try to acquire another legitimate star. Of course, that may be tough in the NBA these days when you’re not NY or LA. They should be a fun team to watch over the next few years, in any case.

  3. manwithpizza - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    “having Chandler for depth and versatility”

    ….

    and trade bait.

    Ujiri is one of the 3 best GMs in the league. He gets it. A quality starter making below market value is an asset. He now has several of these guys. This puts him in position to trade for a star when the right one comes along.

  4. royistheboy - Mar 19, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Has anyone reported when Chandler’s first game back is gonna be?

  5. pop562 - Mar 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    He’s coming back today… For those who need a versatile player for points, blocks, rebound, and 3 pointers pick this guy up…but he will be sharing mins with gallo and the others.

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