REPORT: Will Barton upgraded to questionable vs. Suns
As impressive as the Denver Nuggets have been this season, they have actually been without one of their key players: swingman Will Barton.
Barton has been sidelined with a hip/core injury since the Nuggets’ second game of the year but he could be on his way back soon. According to Nuggets reporter Harrison Wind, Barton has been upgraded to questionable for Denver’s game against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.
Just In: Nuggets have upgraded Will Barton to questionable for tomorrow’s matchup in Phoenix. Barton hasn’t played since Denver’s second game of the season.
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) January 11, 2019
While there is certainly no guarantee that Barton plays, the mere fact that he is now close to returning is significant news.
The 28-year-old, who played his collegiate basketball at the University of Memphis, was originally selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round (40th pick overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft.
He played scarce minutes over two-and-a-half seasons with the Blazers before being traded to the Nuggets midway through the 2014-15 campaign.
Denver gave Barton an opportunity that Portland simply did not, and he capitalized, averaging 11 points per game over 24 games with the Nuggets in 2015 and then following that up by playing in all 82 contests and registering 14.4 points, 5.8 boards and 2.5 assists a night during the 2015-16 campaign.
Barton has remained one of the most consistent three-and-D wings in the league throughout his stay with Denver and should absolutely provide the club with a big boost upon his return.
The Nuggets have won seven of their last eight games and now own a record of 28-12, good for first place in the Western Conference. They will take on the Suns on Saturday before battling Barton’s former Blazers squad on Sunday night.