• Dalton Pence

Should Brandon Goodwin See First-Team Minutes in Denver?

Photo: USA TODAY Sports

On November 29th, Brandon Goodwin agreed to leave the Memphis Grizzlies and join the Denver Nuggets, but his opportunity was cut short when he was released due to the team signing Nick Young. However, it seems like the Nuggets may have use for him after all; the rookie signed a two-way contract on December 16th to return back to the Mile-High city.

The question is, how much should Goodwin see the court during his first season? It seems as if Denver will assign him to a G-League team, but the Nuggets do not currently have an affiliate. In 10 games with the Memphis Hustle, the Florida Gulf Coast graduate averaged 23.6 PPG on 51.1% shooting. Known for his scoring, Goodwin can contribute at all three levels within the half court. He also contributed 5.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, respectively.

If Denver decides to assign him to a G-League affiliate elsewhere, it is evident that he will contribute right away. Within the actual Nuggets rotation, it gets more complicated. Jamal Murray has solidified himself as the starting point guard, but there is uncertainty after him. Monte Morris has made the most of his backup role, averaging 10.1 PPG and 4.1 APG in 20 games. Lost in the good start, veteran Isaiah Thomas has yet to make his season debut due to injury and the addition of Nick Young.

When Gary Harris and Will Barton return from injury, the minutes will get increasingly scarce. With a crowded backcourt, where does the rookie fit in? Goodwin made his NBA debut on December 18th in a win over Dallas. However, he was not granted a huge opportunity after only logging one minute and not recording any statistics.

Nothing is ever certain in rotations due to injury and performance, but regardless, Goodwin should see first-team minutes. Although he has not shot well from distance, the 6-foot-2 guard tore up the G-League during his short stay in Memphis. He has the ability to beat opposing guards off the dribble, create his own shot, and finish at the rim.

The facet of his game that could allow him to see the court is his ability to play off screens. Goodwin’s quickness and athleticism give him the edge to turn the corner on screens, creating mismatches. With Nikola Jokic on the court, the possibilities are endless. The offensive potential, creative abilities, and leadership qualities should make Goodwin a rightful member in the Nuggets rotation.

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