When the BIG3 3-on-3 basketball league began its first season, it’s safe to say that not many people believed that any players would parlay that into a return to the NBA. But for former NBA guard Josh Childress, that is now officially the case.
As Michael Scott of Basketball Insiders reported, Childress and the Denver Nuggets agreed to a contract. This makes him the first BIG3 player to sign with an NBA team after playing in the new league.
Overall, this is a pretty big deal for both Childress and the BIG3 league as well. T.J. McBride of BSNDenver.com reported that the two sides agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal.
Regardless, this is a major opportunity for the 34-year-old point guard, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2013-14 season, when he played in only four gameswith the New Orleans Pelicans and averaged just six minutes per game. His best season came in 2006-07 with the Atlanta Hawks, when he averaged 13 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
Now the question becomes, can Childress actually carve out a role for the Nuggets? The odds are certainly against him, as his age and him being out of the league for an extended period could hurt him. But, if Childress can play both guard spots and small forward, he could surprise and grab a few minutes here or there. Currently, ESPN’s depth chart has the Nuggets with just one small forward in Wilson Chandler.
Scoring has never been the focal point of Childress’ game, but if he can go in and play defense, grab some rebounds and prove that even at age 34 he can still produce, the Nuggets could keep him around. The veteran presence he’d bring certainly wouldn’t hurt, as Jameer Nelson and Paul Millsap are the only two players who are 31 or older on the roster currently.
One thing that’s certain is that if Childress does wind up sticking with the Nuggets, it’s going to potentially bring many more former NBA players looking for a comeback to the BIG3 league. That’ll only benefit the league and make it even more competitive moving forward.