Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets
In the wake of a $31 million, five-year contract in 2012, Wilson Chandler is clearly not being slept on. His game, too, has never been opaque the way teammate JaVale McGee’s still is. (Denver assistant Melvin Hunt has called Chandler’s style “straight lines.”) Two things set up a big 2013-14 season, however: Danilo Gallinari’s torn ACL and Corey Brewer’s expiring contract. Beginning April 6, Chandler assumed Gallinari’s starting forward role and flourished in the extra minutes, averaging 20.2 points, 6.0 boards and 52 percent from the field and 44 percent from three. He even improved in some areas where Gallinari struggled, leading all guards in total rebounding rate this season. Chandler wasn’t the same in the playoffs, but that’s more the case that defending the Warriors backcourt is an exceptionally hard assignment for a series rather than a sign Chandler’s success was fool’s gold. As for Brewer, while he and Chandler worked wonders together as reserves, their similar length and disruptive defense makes them somewhat redundant. If Brewer isn’t re-signed and Gallo’s rehab keeps him out possibly until after the 2014 All-Star break, Chandler will reap the benefits.