The Denver Nuggets opted to send rookie guard Erick Green to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA developmental league Tuesday.

Green, who was selected in the 2013 draft, has appeared in just 14 games this season. Head coach Brian Shaw had this to say about the move.

“With the addition of Jameer Nelson and Randy Foye coming back there wasn’t going to be a lot of time for him,” said Shaw. “We felt like with the schedule with the D-League team that he will be better served to get some time and be able to play will be good for him.”

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“He hasn’t really played much this year and I don’t like games like last night where we are losing and we have to put them in because that is not fun for anybody involved. We want to let him go get some work in and I want him to get some experience.”

It was pretty obvious someone was going to get squeezed with both the acquisition of Nelson and Foye coming back healthy, so the move doesn’t come as a total surprise. Fellow rookie guard Gary Harris, who’s seen more time than Green this season, might be the next in line.


So the timing of the move isn’t a big surprise, but it the larger sense of the Nuggets season, the decision to jettison Green is a little curious.

Nelson has played well in his short amount of time with Denver, but part of the appeal of bringing Nelson is was, to some at least, the influence he could have on Green as a veteran point guard. Ty Lawson had Chauncey Billups – having a former championship-level point guard in Nelson here as a mentor would no doubt help Green develop. With it looking increasingly like the Nuggets will miss the playoffs, it would make sense to let that growth happen at the highest possible level.

Of course, the Nuggets might not be done moving some of their pieces around, so the roster shuffle might only be temporary. We’ll have to see in the coming days what kind of additional moves the Nuggets make and what the rest of the season holds for both Green and Harris.

Zach Marburger is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @BurchBurger.

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