When the Nuggets initially signed Anthony Randolph I termed it Masai Ujiri’s “sports car” signing. He was someone the Nuggets didn’t necessarily need, but who looked good from afar. At the time, Randolph was coming off an impressive final month’s stint with the Timberwolves where he averaged 11 points, five boards and over two blocks per game. During that time he also submitted 28 and 22-point games over the last two weeks of the season. Given that Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov had both underwhelmed the season prior to Randolph’s arrival, many fans were excited at the idea of seeing him in the rotation, even if it was only for 15 minutes per game.
Unfortunately for Randolph, things didn’t quite pan out as he had likely hoped after signing a three-year, $6 mil contract in July 2012. A few months later, Kosta Koufos came into training camp with a new-found appetite for destruction which pushed presumed starter JaVale McGee to the backup big man role, therefore eliminating virtually all minutes given to those over 6-8 in George Karl’s diminutive run-and-gun offense. Randolph saw increased minutes in the final month of the season and even received playing time in a few playoff games; however, with the Nuggets making a clear-cut commitment to JaVale McGee and Timofey Mozgov this past summer, as well as bringing in Darrell Arthur and J.J. Hickson, it’s hard to imagine Randolph doing anything but riding pine, yet again, this upcoming season.
Randolph may never turn into the player he was once projected to be. His talent is undoubtedly still there, but with a handful of new power forwards entering the NBA every year, the amount of playing time to be distributed is perpetually dwindling. At only 24, Randolph still has time to reach the pinnacle of his abilities, but given everything that’s transpired over the last year, it’s hard to see that happening in a Nuggets uniform.
15. Anthony Randolph