After the initial burst of excitement following the report by Chris Tomasson that the Denver Nuggets were going to sign Jason Hart after he was bought out by the Clippers everything was swept under the rug. There was never any big news story in the Denver Post, or anywhere else, heralding Hart’s signing. He has now appeared in a game for the Nuggets after playing garbage time last night against Portland so it is about time we talk about him.
The Nuggets’ front office likes to pick up players either at the trade deadline, or soon thereafter, who they think might have a future with the team. It does not cost anything other than a prorated minimum contract and I think it makes good business sense.
Two seasons ago it was Von Wafer and he has played well this season, just not for the Nuggets. Last season it was Taurean Green who was acquired from Portland in exchange for Wafer. Green ended up being one of the two nonguaranteed contracts that brought Renaldo Balkman to Denver. He may not have been a success on the court, but Denver could not have acquired Balkman without him, or at least without his contract so that has to count for something.
This season the late pickup is Jason Hart and I think he has a brighter future in Denver than either Wafer or Green. This is just a hunch, but I believe the Nuggets signed him now to be Anthony Carter’s replacement as the backup point guard next season.
I have liked Hart’s game since he was at Syracuse. He is not an explosive scorer, but he is just a sound player. He has been a rotation player for quality teams like the Spurs and Jazz. He knows how to play team defense and his midrange jumper is more consistent than Carter’s. I doubt he will see much time this season, but I suspect they brought him onboard now to groom him for his role next season.
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