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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

1 Nuggets player poised for major breakout next season?

Michael Malone smiling

Feb 5, 2020; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone reacts during the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The hype may be intensifying for Denver Nuggets fans beyond just the expected returns of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

Denver guard Bones Hyland recently spoke to The Denver Post and revealed that the Nuggets organization is preparing him to have a big role next year. Hyland was told to expect far more playing time after Denver traded away Will Barton and Monte Morris earlier this offseason.

“I knew what the move was [trading those guys],” said Hyland. “They were already contacting me before and letting me know what was happening.

“After the moves even happened, the coaches called me, players called me, like, ‘Time to just go out there and be Bizzy [Hyland’s nickname]. It’s a big opportunity for you,'” he went on. “And they tell me every day, like, ‘You’re going to have a big role, big opportunity, a lot more minutes, just to just go out there and be yourself.’”

The 21-year-old Hyland was a surprise dynamo for the Nuggets as a rookie last year. He made 69 appearances, posting 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game with innovative shot-making and offensive craftiness. While Denver also acquired Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the same trade, the departures of Barton and Morris will create a lot more chances for Hyland as a scorer and ball-handler in the backcourt.

NBA players often take major leaps in their sophomore seasons (as we saw last year even with non-lottery picks like Cole Anthony, Tyrese Maxey, and Desmond Bane). For Hyland, a former 26th overall pick who already knows how to irritate opponents, he could be the next addition to that list.


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