After losing one of their best players to free agency this summer, the Denver Nuggets have a decision to make about their new starting shooting guard in the 2013-2014 season, with young Evan Fournier looking like the front runner to win the position.
At least, he should be. Fournier averaged 5.3 points per game in only 11.3 minutes a night on a very loaded Nuggets roster, but he probably provides the best option of what the Nuggets can do next to Ty Lawson, despite the presence of more veteran players.
There’s Andre Miller, whose minutes last season were a reason for George Karl to get fired. Despite his immense regular season success, the Nuggets’ executives didn’t like the fact that Karl didn’t focus on developing young talent and allowing Miller and others to eat up minutes that could have gone to Lawson or Fournier.
There’s Randy Foye, who the Nuggets acquired through the Iguodala deal. Foye is a solid shooter and a player who can play both guard positions, but he has a very limited upside on offense, and getting a big role from Brian Shaw next season might prove that the Nuggets aren’t thinking too big during the first season after the huge overhaul this summer.
Fournier (40.7% from beyond the arc last season) is the team’s best three point shooter, especially while Danilo Gallinari is sitting out injured with no one quite sure when he’ll be back from it. He’s very athletic and more importantly, is only 20-year old. He didn’t have the opportunity to show his defensive skills against some of the better players last season due to his inclusion in the weaker lineups, but his size (6’6) and athleticism should make him a reliable option to guard most 2-guards in the NBA.
The Nuggets wanted to see their younger players being developed, something Karl forsake in order to win games. After getting knocked out in the first round of the postseason for yet another time, he had no more excuses to hide behind and got fired. Brian Shaw probably knows the priorities this time, making Fournier all that morel likely to get more minutes next season.