Juancho Hernangomez will transition to playing small forward for Nuggets
With Paul Millsap now a part of the Denver Nuggets, the team has added an All-Star forward, who brings a lot of veteran leadership to their young team. However, they have also created a logjam at the power forward position, and a hole at the three spot with the exit of Danilo Gallinari. The good news for them though, is they have players who can fill the void by transitioning to playing a slightly different position next season.
One of them is their 21-year-old Spanish international, Juancho Hernangomez, who despite playing mostly at the four spot last season, is versatile enough to play small forward as well. He is slowly being moved to his new role, as he is currently playing for the team’s Summer League squad under Micah Nori.
A Nuggets assistant coach recently spoke with Christopher Dempsey of Nuggets.com, where he confirmed the team’s plans for the 6-foot-9 forward. He then added that he thinks he is the perfect player for the current trend in the NBA of playing position-less basketball.
“The one luxury we do have is with his ability to handle the basketball and shoot the basketball you can do a lot of different things with that,”
“Juancho is a 3-4 combo, and I think the thing that was probably new for him in the NBA was he was by himself…and switched onto a James Harden or get switched onto a Russell Westbrook. Those guys are next level athletes,” Nori said. “And to try to defensively stay in front of all of them, and be able to guard threes and guard fours, continue to make the right play. Everything is going to position-less basketball, and I think he is the perfect individual for that type of system.”
The team may still look for players they can bring in to add depth to their rotation in this summer’s free agency, but if they fail to do so, they can always go to the route of relying on the versatility of Hernangomez. Although he is not a proven small forward yet, he does have a very unique skill set, as he can score efficiently from the perimeter, and also attack the basket when needed, even when defended by natural power forwards.
It remains to be seen how successful the Nuggets will be with this move they are planning. Their fans are hoping it pays dividends for them this coming season, and that they can finally make it to the playoffs once again after A five year drought.