Since the Denver Nuggets drafted Nikola Jokic in 2014, the reigning champions have surrounded their Serbian sensation with some fantastic talent. Although Jokic has never played next to an All-Star, high-profile hoopers like Jamal Murray and rock-solid role players like Aaron Gordon and Paul Millsap have shared the court with the Joker over the years.
Denver’s journey to its first title in franchise history required patience and commitment. The Nuggets built a powerhouse by drafting most of their core and building an incredible culture around them. Throughout Jokic’s seven seasons in the Mile-High City, Denver has started some underrated players that fit the culture perfectly.
Here are the five most underrated Nuggets starters from the Jokic era so far.
Wilson “Ill Will” Chandler provided the Nuggets with grit and toughness during his Mile High tenure. He spent seven of his 12 NBA seasons with Denver and bore witness to Jokic’s first three years in the league.
After missing The Joker’s 2015-16 rookie campaign with a labral tear, Chandler started nearly 100 games alongside the two-time MVP across his next two seasons.
In the 2016-17 season, Chandler came back from his injury with a bang. The 3-and-D specialist averaged a career-best 15.7 points and 6.5 rebounds on 46.1% shooting from the field. He also started in just 33 of his 71 contests that season.
The following season, Chandler regained his spot as a full-time starter and started 71 games. The Nuggets officially began their ascension behind Jokic as they went 46-36 in a loaded Western Conference. Denver barely missed out on the playoffs that year, but 46 wins would have been good for the No. 4 seed out west in 2023.
Nuggets diehards appreciated Chandler for the tenacious effort and size he gave Denver during his seven-year stay. While he never tasted any playoff success with the Nuggets, Ill Will created some fond memories. In March 2017, he notably torched the Sacramento Kings for a career-high 36 points in a home win at Ball Arena.