Everybody loves Tom
This entry begins with the end of Wednesday’s availability, as members of the Denver media withdrew their phones from the scrum, and Altitude’s Katy Winge snuck one last question in to Denver Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez:
“Is he (Tom Welsh) the nicest person you’ve ever met?”
“Yes,” Fernandez responded without hesitation. “It doesn’t get better than that guy.”
Welsh is returning to Summer League with the Denver Nuggets for the second consecutive season, making him a veteran leader of Denver’s Vegas outfit. He spoke with the media following Wednesday’s mini-camp session, and fielded questions on his growth, his approach to his second Summer League, and what it’s been like play alongside point guard Brandon Goodwin.
Spoiler alert: Welsh loves it.
When asked about his approach to Summer League this year, and what it will take to make the leap to the Nuggets roster, Welsh said he’s focused on “the little things.” Rebounding, setting solid screens, and of course, being he best teammate he can be.
Jordi Fernandez, Denver Nuggets assistant and Summer League head coach for the second consecutive season, mentioned during Tuesday’s availability his hope to communicate to Welsh that he has the green light on open threes.
“I know Tom is going to take good shots,” Fernandez followed up on Wednesday. “I just want to see him taking more good shots.”
This isn’t Brandon Goodwin’s first rodeo
Brandon Goodwin spent his Summer League with the Memphis Grizzlies last season, so he’s no stranger to this process, even if this his first appearance with Denver. An interesting dynamic at Summer League is the potentially conflicting interests of the individuals that comprise a team, and the team as a collective.
The Nuggets will compete in a basketball tournament in Vegas, but winning that tournament might come secondary to a player in Goodwin’s shoes—a player who might be able to earn a spot on an NBA team with a strong individual performance. But when asked if that makes it difficult to focus on their goals as a unit, Goodwin brushed off any concern. The only difference between this summer and last for him, is that “knows what to expect.”
Terrence Davis is an “NBA player”
I’m sure he’d never admit it, but I wonder if Summer League head coach Jordi Fernandez was relieved to field questions on anything but Michael Porter Jr. today. The former high school phenom has dominated the conversations around Denver’s summer league team so far, but Fernandez was given the opportunity to speak on other players who have impressed him to this point.
He was asked specifically about Terrence Davis, the 22-year-old guard from Ole Miss university, and Fernandez didn’t hold back in his praise.
“He’s an NBA player. He can guard, he’s been making shots and if he can consistently do that—that’s what makes him an NBA player, he really guards his position. He’s extremely professional, an extremely good teammate, and I think a guy that can accept his role. There are a lot of kids coming here from college as superstars—he’s coming in as a role player, and I think that opens things up for him.”
The Nuggets will hold their final mini-camp session tomorrow before boarding their flight to Vegas.