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Nuggets want Jordan Hamilton to improve defense

The small forward averaged 4.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 9.9 minutes per game as a rookie for the Nuggets.

Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Jordan Hamilton, a 2011 first-round draft pick out of the University of Texas, saw time in 26 games for the Nuggets as a rookie. Hamilton averaged 4.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 9.9 minutes per game and showed flashes of potential. To reach that potential though, assistant coach Melvin Hunt says that the young forward will need to shore up his defense.

Speaking to NBA.com, Hunt raved about Hamilton's work ethic and spoke of his desire to learn as a rookie, evidenced by him constantly asking coaches questions during practices. However, he did note some areas that Hamilton will need to improve upon.

"This summer, we told him to concentrate on defense when he's playing pick-up games. You'll make some mistakes, but you'll be better. We also need him to keep rebounding. He's not afraid of getting in the fray and mixing it up with guys. That's another part of his game that we'll benefit from."

Hamilton was originally drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the No. 26 selection, but was traded to Denver later that night in a deal that included Rudy Fernandez, Raymond Felton and Andre Miller.

The Nuggets finished the 2011-12 season with a 38-28 record and earned the sixth seed in the Western Conference, but lost in the first round to the Lakers in a series that went to Game 7.