Nuggets Rumors: Will Barton, JaMychal Green to Discuss New Contracts in Free Agency

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 25, 2021

Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton (5) in the second half of Game 4 of an NBA second-round playoff series Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Two members of the Denver Nuggets' supporting cast may return to the Western Conference team despite potential opportunities to sign elsewhere in free agency.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported "there's tremendous interest" between Will Barton and Denver even though he declined his $14.7 million player option to become a free agent. Charania also reported that Denver is "expected to discuss a new deal" with JaMychal Green even though he opted out of his $7.6 million player option.

The report noted other teams will attempt to sign Green as well.

Both players were important pieces of the rotation for a Nuggets squad that finished with the third-best record in the Western Conference at 47-25 before they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs with Jamal Murray sidelined by injury.

Barton, who played for the Portland Trail Blazers before they traded him to Denver during the 2014-15 season, averaged 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from three-point range.

He can use his length and athleticism to bother opposing shooters while defending multiple positions or slash into the lane as a cutter who can capitalize on Nikola Jokic's passing ability.

Both players can take advantage of the spacing Jokic and Murray create by hitting from the outside, as Green connected on 39.9 percent of his three-pointers this season. Like Barton, he can also compete for rebounds and serve as a secondary scorer in the lane if needed.

The Nuggets are right on the fringe of contending for a title after reaching the Western Conference Finals two seasons ago and perhaps being derailed by injuries after an impressive 2020-21 showing.

Unlike some teams, they may not need to make drastic moves in free agency to remain on the shortlist of the best teams in the league.

Keeping important players like Barton and Green around the core of Jokic, Murray and Michael Porter Jr. may constitute a successful offseason, so it comes as little surprise the team is interested in a reunion with both.