Facundo Campazzo has said that he wants to remain in the NBA but after filling out their roster, the Denver Nuggets aren’t able to retain the Argentinian. Did he play well enough to warrant another roster spot for the 2022-23 season?
Campazzo told Diego Morini, La Nacion, that he thinks he showed enough to stay in the world’s best league:
"“I want to stay, I think I showed that I can compete when I’m at my best, when they give me confidence and I feel part of the rotation. In fact, I was the starter during my first Playoffs in every game except the last one, and in I played a lot in regular season.“I’m not saying no to Real Madrid. What I am saying is that my attention and my energy is focused on the NBA. It’s my first option.”"
In the 2021-22 season, the Argentinian averaged 5.1 points per game with 3.4 assists while shooting a lowly 36 percent from the floor. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story after his role was taken by Bones Hyland midway through the season when Michael Malone was looking for other options.
After the All-Star break, Campazzo’s minutes fell from 20.3 per night to just eight and his production followed. Malone only called Facundo’s number in garbage time or spot minutes and the better Bones played, the less Facu saw of the court.
Calvin Booth and the Nuggets front office made a clear decision this offseason, shipping out backup point guard Monte Morris in a move that aided the starting lineup while also giving Hyland a larger role for the future.
On top of that, Ish Smith, one of the players coming to Denver in the Kentavious Caldwell-Pope trade, projects to be the third guard off the bench for the Nuggets, mopping up any small playmaking roles that could arise.
So with Denver off the table, would another NBA team want to take a risk on the 31-year-old Facundo Campazzo? After falling out of the Nuggets’ rotation, is he really an NBA-level player? As Campazzo says:
"“I feel like an NBA player and I want to stay at that level. Because it keeps you alert, because anything can happen, because it is uncertainty, you improve, you have everything to evolve. That’s kind of the way of thinking. Real Madrid is the biggest showcase in Europe and thanks to being part of that club it helped me to be in the NBA. But the reality is that I want to focus on staying in the United States.”"
It’s not looking good for Facu’s chances in the NBA. This past season, he had a 47.3 percent effective field goal percentage, a mark that puts him in the 26th percentile among all guards according to Cleaning the Glass.
Using that same metric, he only shot above league average from one part of the floor, the long mid-range (The Deep Two, if you will).
His main attraction to an NBA roster is his passing ability but after two seasons in the league, defenses stopped playing him as a scorer and were cognisant of his pass-happy game. He’ll still have a few good nights by just being a smart passer, but with a terrible turnover percentage of 13.4, passing is hardly an elite skill for the diminutive point guard.
If he does play in the NBA, it could be on one of the worse teams looking for a pass-happy veteran to get the ball to their best players. These veteran mentor roles typically go to players who have a long career in the NBA, not in international leagues like Facundo Campazzo.
The highlights were fun and the full-court presses were exciting but it’s looking like the time for Campazzo in the NBA has come to an end.