The Denver Nuggets have re-signed 24 year-old shooting guard Will Barton to a three-year, $10.6 million deal that includes incentives, league sources tell Denver Stiffs. Barton appeared in 28 games for the Nuggets, after joining the team in a mid-season deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Barton took to Twitter and Instagram to make the news of the deal official:
A hard working player, that found an opportunity with the Nuggets, Barton averaged 11 points a game for the Nuggets in 24.4 minutes per contest. He shot 44% from the field and 28% from three point land for Denver. Over his brief three-year NBA career, Barton has averaged 5 points per game in just 13.2 minutes per game.
In Portland, Barton found himself buried on the bench, and in a system that didn't allow him to showcase his skills. Dave Deckard of Blazers Edge had this to say about Barton in a Q&A back on March 10th:
In Portland's system the shooting guard mold is shaped like Wes Matthews. Don't dribble unless you're posting up, hang out on the weak side, drain every three that comes your way when people are paying attention to LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, and defend well.
If you look at that job description, Will Bartons need not apply. He flourishes with the ball in his hands, with the offense under his control, with 600 possibilities before him and every light green.
I think everybody saw the potential in Barton. The question became, "Is this guy worth changing your offense for?" Given Portland's position, goals, and roster, that answer was no. Denver's different.
With the Nuggets, Barton can play his way into a starting two guard role with Randy Foye and Gary Harris also battling him for minutes. Under Michael Malone, Barton should still be able to thrive in an up-tempo system that wants to run with purpose, utilizing defense to setup fast-break opportunities.
Barton was excited to join the Nuggets this past season, and eager to re-sign with the team. Barton's brother Antonio was with the team at Las Vegas Summer League, and Will was there to support him. Will the Thrill was cozy with the Nuggets in Vegas, and this signing was a no-brainer.
We'll see how far Barton can take his game, and the Nuggets keep another youngster on the roster.
Nate Timmons | denverstiffs.com | July 23, 2015