It’s no secret that Juancho Hernangomez is one of my favorite Nuggets players. The rookie forward shot over 40% from behind the arc this season, plays all-out every second he got on the court, and by all accounts has an incredible attitude and work ethic. For me, he is an untradeable part of the core of the Denver Nuggets roster alongside Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris.
Juancho spoke with Jorge Sierra recently for an interview on HoopsHype.com and boy did he have some nice things to say about Nikola Jokic.
From Day 1, I was in shock with Nikola Jokic. Honestly, he’s the biggest talent I’ve seen in my life. When he improves physically and gets more ready for a full NBA season, he’s going to be so, so good. He’s our franchise player. He can give you 20 points and 20 rebounds, he will shoot threes, he can give you 12-15 assists. When the ball goes through him and he has a good day, our team has very good chances of winning. We really need him for next year.
Jokic seemed to get along with just about everyone in the Nuggets roster, media, and Pepsi Center staff but he especially seemed to have a nice connection with some of the younger players in the locker room. Nearly 1/5 of Jokic’s assist this season went to Gary Harris. Jamal Murray was the 4th most frequent recipient of Jokic’s passes despite the fact that the other two more frequent recipients, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, played nearly twice as many minutes with Jokic. Juancho also developed a nice chemistry with Jokic so it’s no surprise that the young wing has so much respect and confidence in him.
Juancho also shares that not only does he expect to play in Summer League in July, but he wants to play.
Yeah, I think I’m going to play summer league. I like to compete. They asked me if I was down for it and I really would like to go and play a couple of games, be around the team and keep developing as a player.
The Nuggets summer league roster should be pretty interesting. In addition to Juancho, Malik Beasley will likely play, as will the Nuggets first second round draft picks and players like Petr Cornelie may make the trek back over to stay in front of the team and see how they measure up after another year in Europe.
The entire interview is worth checking out. Juancho also talks about his relationship with Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez and his take on Lavar Ball and basketball families.