Will Barton makes crucial decision on future with Nuggets
Denver Nuggets swingman Will Barton has officially declined his player option for 2021-22 worth $14.7 million and will enter free agency.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, however, Barton and the Nuggets have every desire to reach a new deal to keep the 30-year-old in Colorado when free agency opens in August.
ESPN Sources: Denver Nuggets G/F Will Barton has declined his $14.7M player option for the 2021-2022 season and will become a free agent. There’s a strong interest between the organization and Barton to negotiate a new deal once free agency opens in August.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 17, 2021
For what it’s worth, Will Barton is the longest-tenured player on the Nuggets’ roster. He has long been considered as a crucial part of the team, which is why he was sorely missed during the playoffs.
Barton suffered a hamstring injury late in the campaign, forcing him to miss the last 13 games of the regular season. His absence extended to the playoffs, only returning in Game 2 of the second round against the Phoenix Suns.
While he struggled in his return for Denver, he made sure to show the Nuggets what he is truly capable of when he banked 25 points in Game 4 against the Suns.
Barton averaged 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists in the 56 games he played for Denver in 2020-21. While it is below his previous average, he has more than proven he can provide scoring whether as a starter or as a member of the second unit.
It remains to be seen if Barton will still explore free agency since there will undoubtedly be a lot of interested teams. But based on Woj’s reporting, he seems focused on making a new deal with his team for seven years now.