Denver Nuggets: Why Facundo Campazzo deserves an All-Rookie selection

Facundo Campazzo of the Denver Nuggets (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)
Facundo Campazzo of the Denver Nuggets (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images) /
Facundo Campazzo of the Denver Nuggets (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)
Facundo Campazzo of the Denver Nuggets (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images) /

It seems like only yesterday that the Denver Nuggets rookie guard Facundo Campazzo landed in Colorado, took a cute picture with his family and started throwing some of the sweetest NBA preseason dimes we had ever seen.

Nevertheless, a season has passed and the 30-year-old Argentinian guard has officially completed his first season in the NBA and has been a solid role player for one of the more deeper teams in the league.

On the season, he’s averaging 6.1 points, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals but those numbers are carried by a strong finish to the season as his role has grown since the Jamal Murray injury. In May, he averaged 9.3 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.4 rebounds while tallying a 111 defensive rating.

Having a consistent EuroLeague veteran off the bench was initially an embarrassment of riches for these Denver Nuggets but injuries have brought him to the forefront and Campazzo is about to enter his first NBA playoffs with quite the role.

His best five-man lineup per basketball-reference this season was when he shared the court with Nikola Jokic, Will Barton, Aaron Gordon, and Michael Porter Jr., a lineup that’s sure to see plenty of playing time in the playoffs. For all that lineup’s warts on defense, it excelled at forcing turnovers and getting rebounds, closing out the defensive possession. The things Facu does well.

But that’s the playoffs, the season awards are exactly that, an award for the regular season.

Denver Nuggets: Did Facundo Campazzo do enough to get on an All-Rookie team?

Nobody tell Jaxson Hayes, but rookie team accolades don’t matter that much, if at all. It’s more of a participation award, patting the younger players on the back for doing a good job. They might as well give them a gold star sticker while there.

But it does act as a line in the sand between the productive rookies and the ones who didn’t really make an impact.

The All-Rookie teams do what the All-NBA teams should do: ignore positions. So it’s literally a list of two five-man teams, ten players in all who were the best rookies.

Assuming the finalists for Rookie of the Year, LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and Tyrese Haliburton, are locks then there are seven spots up for grabs. Seven spots for any position.

Immanuel Quickley for the New York Knicks has been one of the more productive rookies outside of the top tier, so he’s getting on. Desmond Bane in Memphis has played a consistent role all year and was getting serious playing time in the play in matches, so he’s in. Saddiq Bey in Detroit came on strong down the end of the season and put up come major counting stats to in the last month.

Now we’re down to four available spots. One of those spots belongs to one Facundo Campazzo.

Out of the remaining notable names, Pat Williams, Jae’Sean Tate, Isaiah Stewart, Isaac Okoro, and James Wiseman, none of them have contributed as much to winning as Facu, playing an important role on a top-four seed instead of just filling up the stat sheets.

You might argue that Wiseman played on a winning team but the Golden State Warriors were much better with him off the court and even finished the season 21-12 after his season-ending injury. Not a good look.

Possibly the biggest compliment to Campazzo is that he gets ‘it’. After playing (and winning) in Europe, he knows how to win and can even deliver poor shooting nights that are still an outstanding positive for the ball game with his pesky defense and cerebral passing.

He’ll have his work cut out in this upcoming series against the Portland Trail Blazers, hounding their star guards for most of the night for the next few matchups. All the more time to justify his selection on an All-Rookie team.

Next. What will the Denver Nuggets playoff rotation look like?. dark