This is the perfect place for Denver Nuggets fans, or should I say Denver Nuggets optimists. But let's be realistic, we are always seeing on the bright sides, you know.
[First published on August 8, 2012 at milehighnirvana.blogspot.com]
After signing Evan Fournier, the recent 20th overall pick, and Anthony Randolph, the Denver Nuggets‘ roster has reached the maximum of 15 players. But there is one thing the Nuggets’ front office haven’t done: sign the intriguing prospect Quincy Miller.
Will Quincy Miller sign a contract to get the final roster spot at the expense for Julyan Stone?
That has been the only unanswered question for the Denver Nuggets this free agency. After suffering a hip injury that took him out of the NBA Summer League (which puts a dent to his NBA player development), it was very clear that Julyan Stone’s tenure with the Nuggets might be cut short due to the fact that his contract is non-guaranteed. Masai Ujiri got another steal when he happily drafted Quincy Miller at number 38. A versatile player with a silky smooth shooting touch, scoring mentality, good mobility, lengthy wingspan (7’1″), Quincy Miller still has a lot of potential after suffering a torn ACL in his senior year in high school which took away most of his athletic ability (it was very clear that the ACL injury is the factor why he slipped into the second round). QMiller is still 19 years old, so he has a lot of time to beef up that wiry frame weighing 219 pounds. Because of the strengths he possesses, Quincy Miller deserves a roster spot.
But what about Julyan Stone?
It really is a big bummer for Stone to suffer a hip injury that took him out of the Summer League. It also is a big bummer for the Nuggets Nation to not witness the impact he might have brought in the Summer League as a playmaker (remember, the Nuggets’ offense in the Summer League looked lost and inefficient and got an unimpressive 1-4 record). If you could still recall how much potential Julyan Stone still has , you might understand why he can still become an all-around player if he can just develop one thing: shooting. But because of the fact that Stone wasn’t able to showcase his talents in the Summer League, where he could have had a chance to test that jump shot I think he has been trying to improve the whole summer, it doesn’t look positive that Stone will remain as a Nugget.
Okay the Nuggets might miss the opportunity to reach the untapped potential Stone clearly has but Stone’s possible departure doesn’t hurt Denver for two reasons. One, they won’t have a problem on point guard depth considering Andre Miller‘s durability (‘Dre only missed three games due to injury in his 13-year career). Two, Evan Fournier doesn’t just possess the characteristics of a fearless scorer, but he also possesses the characteristics of an unselfish playmaker. So in some games, expect Fournier to play some minutes at the point if Ty Lawson gets injured.
Overall, signing Quincy Miller and letting Julyan Stone go does make sense for Denver. QMiller has a trifling chance to earn minutes in his rookie season so he will probably be in the D-League where he can harness what he is capable of while trying to regain the explosiveness he used to have in high school.