It's a weird offseason for Nuggets fans. There's blue and gold in these NBA finals, but not the right kind. It's a long summer ahead, and one of the most glaring needs for this team is at backup PG. I want this to be constructive so I'll leave the AC argument for another time. Fact is he's old, and the Nuggets were a much different beast when they signed him. This team relies heavily on Chauncey, and he's not getting any younger - we had to scramble to sign Jason Hart in case of emergency (Shaun Livingston was also targeted). Getting some youth and depth at PG is absolutely critical before next season. Problem is, the Nuggets don't have a whole lot to work with, and by that I mean money and flexibility. Realistically, they are trying to find a budding talent on a cheap contract ripe for Chauncey to groom into a star. After the jump, I'll get real with you on a crazy idea - and why I think a Quiet Storm should be headed to Denver's backcourt
I'm talking of course about one Charles Akeem Watson Jr., aka CJ Watson, aka the Quiet Storm, aka Not Anthony Carter. Never heard of him? Can't blame you, he's an undrafted third year fringe NBA player via Europe via 4 years of college ball in Tennessee. Originally brought into back up Baron Davis, He's a restricted free agent for the Golden State Warriors ($1.05 mil qualifying offer next year)
CJ's not really a proven NBA talent. He appeared in 77 games last year, averaging an unremarkable 9.5pts, 2.5reb, and 2.7ast in 24 minutes a game. So why the man crush? I think he possesses a ton of traits the Nuggets might look for in a backup PG. CJ has played in Italy and Greece in Europe, San Antonio and Charlotte in summer league, Rio Grande Texas in the D-League and Golden State in the NBA. For a 25 year old, he's got some experience.
The reason I like CJ's game is because he is relentlessly aggressive. Part of that is playing under Don Nelson where play calling is replaced by a random up and down offense. He looks for his teammates, but doesn't pass up the open shot. He likes to shoot midrange and can stroke the 3 without falling in love with it. The second unit struggles a lot when LK and JR are off, because AC, Dahntay and Birdman are pretty much black holes on offense. Here's a guy who can score off the bench and be taught by Chauncey how to run a real offense. Despite usually being the smallest player on the floor, CJ averaged 2.5 free throws a game, hitting 87 percent of them. AC barely averaged 1 free throw a game, hitting 73 percent despite playing similar minutes. While CJ is a fast break player he showed outstanding control, with an assist to turnover ratio of 2.7 to 1.2 (2.25). The guy can make plays
How do I defense ball?
CJ is an undersized guard, and if there's a knock on him it's his perimeter defense. This is probably why he got cut from the Spurs and the Bobcats by Greg Popovich and Larry Brown. That's understandable, and despite his doubters CJ still made his way to becoming a promising NBA talent. I refuse to believe he can't develop his quickness on the defensive side of the ball with help from an experienced teacher, say someone like Chauncey Billups. Anthony Carter has a reputation for defense, but he's also undersized and plays a reckless gambling style of D. In a clutch situation when you need smart decisions, AC disappears. He's 34 years old and this is as good as he's ever going to be, so don't tell me CJ can't eventually be as good a defender as him.
In my opinion, this guy is underrated and within reach for the Nuggets. Yes, he needs to get more assists and adapt his game to a more disciplined style of play. Bottom line, Chauncey needs to get more rest and it's a disservice to everyone not to give him a young player to mentor. The Nuggets can't be big spenders and have had success bringing in relative unknowns with something to prove. Even if we keep AC, adding a young PG like Watson would be a good idea