Now that Corey Brewer has decided to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Denver Nuggets will be looking to replace his production off the bench. Brewer averaged 12.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in just over 24 minutes per night. A prime candidate to fill that void is third-year swingman Jordan Hamilton.
Hamilton was acquired by the Nuggets on draft night in 2011 in a three-team trade with the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trailblazers. In that trade, the Nuggets also returned veteran point guard Andre Miller. The former Texas Longhorn is still a man of mystery to the Nuggets and their fan base due to former head coach George Karl‘s aversion to playing younger players. Hamilton was also drafted just before the 2011 lockout, which meant that there was no NBA Summer League for him to participate in as a rookie.
The Las Vegas Summer League kicks off for the Nuggets this Saturday and Hamilton will make his second appearance on the summer squad. Hamilton was the standout for last year’s boys of summer, averaging 19.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in five games. Because of that performance, many predicted that the 2012-13 season would be his breakout campaign. However, Karl had other plans and gave the bulk of the minutes off the bench to Brewer.
Now that Karl, Brewer and Andre Iguodala are no longer with the Nuggets, a wonderful opportunity is there for Hamilton to take advantage of should he choose to. In fact, Denver’s starting shooting guard position is wide open now that Iguodala is gone. Evan Fournier and Randy Foye will likely be Hamilton’s biggest competition for that spot. Fournier will join Hamilton in Vegas and the duo will likely be gunning to impress new head coach Brian Shaw for a prominent role in Denver’s rotation. Both players will thrive under Shaw, who is known for his ability to develop young talent.
Hamilton has shown flashes of brilliance in limited action with the Nuggets during his first two seasons and has displayed the ability to score even against the better teams in the league. Whether he is the starter or the sixth man, Hamilton will finally get the chance to live up to his potential with a larger role for Denver this season.