According to the Denver Nuggets, Juancho Hernangomez and Malik Beasley have been assigned to the D-League where they will play for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. This is the second time this season Beasley has been sent to the Skyforce and it will be Hernangomez’s first trip down to the developmental league. The Skyforce will play January 6 against the Texas Legends. One would anticipate both Beasley and Hernangomez will be available for that contest.
The Nuggets lack of a dedicated D-League squad has been a hot topic so far this season. With the Nuggets carrying a bevy of players aged 22 or younger, having the option to send some of the guys at the end of the bench down to the D-League to get valuable game experience is an option the Nuggets want to entertain. They are able to do that by sending players to the Skyforce, but that team is not under the Nuggets control and they therefore have no say in playing time, developmental focus and coaching practices. With two more first round picks in hand for the 2017 NBA Draft, the time Denver spends without their own dedicated D-League team is rapidly drawing to a close.
The timing of this particular move makes a lot of sense. Kenneth Faried has recently been hampered with back issues but nothing has been said about the issue lingering. With the Manimal on the mend, Hernangomez is likely to be on the outside looking in as far as the rotation. Beasley meanwhile has been a healthy inactive for several games in a row. In addition to this, the Nuggets are preparing to head to London next week to play the Indiana Pacers meaning after Saturday’s contest with the Oklahoma City Thunder Denver will play just one game over the next nine days whereas the SkyForce will play three games in that same span. As much as it sucks for Beasley and Hernangomez to miss out on a trip to London, getting the on-court time while the team is relatively inactive is ultimately in theri best interest.
Beasley will be making his second trip to the D-league. He last spent time with the Skyforce in early December where he appeared in two games. He averaged 29.5 minutes per game. In those two games Beasley also averaged 18.5 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Hernangomez will likely see a similar amount of playing time with the Sky Force in his D-League debut. All in all a good thing for these two youngsters and the Nuggets, let’s just hope Sky Force assistant coach Anthony Carter isn’t going to give them too many pointers on inbounding the ball.