#NuggetsRank No. 12: Jordan Hamilton

Every year around this time ESPN introduces its annual #NBARank series codifying all 500 players in the NBA from least to most valuable. Last year Roundball Mining Company decided to get in on the action and began ranking each of the players on the Denver Nuggets’ final 15-man roster in the same fashion. We’ve polled all seven of our writers, asking them to arrange each player on the Nuggets roster from one to 15 (one being the best, 15 the least valuable), then we added everyone’s scores together to come up with a single, definitive list of the 15 “most valuable” Denver Nuggets. Jordan Hamilton arrives at the No. 12 spot, a dip from last year’s ranking of No. 10.

The roster certainly didn’t get any better this year and Hamilton hasn’t really gotten any worse which makes his minor plummet in the rankings somewhat curious on the surface. But for better or for worse, last year’s team was about maximizing the win potential of the roster, and that approach did not include slogging through the developmental growing-pains of projects on the end of the bench.

Hamilton’s central issue, in terms of his inability to get off the bench for anything but garbage time, last season was his sieve-like defense. JHam suffers from the many vices that usually plague young players on that end: he over-helps, he ball watches, he goes for inadvisable steals, and he gets caught up in screens far too easily. His length on the wing makes him an ideal candidate to snip passing lanes and help blanket double-teams but his decision making and timing with implementing these skills often hurt the team much more than they help.

Offensively is where you can see the potential. Hamilton’s a 6-7 wing with a good shooting stroke and a handle that teams need to be wary of. But that sweet stroke has yet to manifest itself into something teams really have to worry about as in spot-up situations, where floor spacers usually do their most work, he remains just average per SynergySports. Additionally, while he has the capability to put the ball on the floor and beat an overmatched defender off the dribble, he struggles mightily around the basket when he drives and has an unfortunate tendency to favor off balance jumpers as opposed to finishes at the rim.

“Project” is a rather ubiquitous player label mostly used as an absolution for a player’s prolonged developmental stage. It implies that something is being built toward and that something positive will be birthed from all the hard work. JHam is entering his third year in the league and perhaps will be getting his first real shot at significant playing time. He has the raw materials to become a solid contributor on the team and has already shown signs of those skills being implemented, with his superior rebounding and improved ball handling.

Denver will have a decision to make next season regarding picking up Hamilton’s option, a decision that will be made all the harder with the nearly $1 million raise he is set to make. This season will be an audition for Jordan Hamilton, a time for him to show what this project has built.


15. Anthony Randolph

14. Quincy Miller

13. Timofey Mozgov

12. Jordan Hamilton

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David Walker

Freshman at FSU. Love the Nuggets, the beach, and the game that involves a ball that occasionally goes into the hoop.
  • herpderpnuggets

    its kinda funny how a coach that hardly ever preached defense, wouldnt let someone like hamilton play, i mean, how could it get any worse than A miller?

  • CD Pascual

    J-HAM! I bet he’ll be a good fit in Shaw’s system.

  • wij

    Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought Hamilton looked out of shape and a step slow last season.

  • toluene hawk

    Unleash JHAM

  • Kody R

    It’s time to see what Hamilton can do. I’m a big fan, i hope he accels this year with Shaw running things

    • dynamo.joe

      Good or bad, I would rather find out now. At least then we will know whether we should be moving on or not.

      Personally, I think his offense and rebounding make up for any short comings on D.