The Denver Nuggets and Will Barton are finalizing a three-year contract worth around $11 million, according to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Haynes, a former Blazers beat writer (who knows Barton, well), says the deal could be signed as soon as today.
He was traded to a rebuilding situation in Denver last season and immediately displayed why Portland coveted him so much. In 28 games with his new club his numbers shot up to 11.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in 24.4 minutes.
Barton is in Las Vegas to watch his brother Antonio, who is on Denver's Summer League team, play and was in the Nuggets' locker room area after the game against the Atlanta Hawks yesterday. Barton had a positive conversation with head coach Michael Malone, before departing the locker room area with his brother.
Will Barton just outside the Nuggets locker room area, catching up with former Nuggets point guard Earl Watson.
Will the Thrill, as he's known on Twitter, has been talking about a return to the Nuggets since welcoming Emmanuel Mudiay to the team on draft night.
The three year deal for around $3.3 million per season gives Barton a chance to grow into a role with the Nuggets, and it gives the Nuggets an opportunity to take a friendly chance on Barton's development. Barton is a great locker room presence, and will make a positive impact on this Nuggets team for years to come.
If this Barton deal gets done today, it could spell the end for Randy Foye in Denver. Foye's $3.1 million non-guaranteed deal has to be decided on today, if he's on the team come July 12th, his deal becomes fully guaranteed. Foye has been a nice addition, and losing him would be a hit on locker room culture, but it would also free up a roster spot, and allow the shooting guard spot to be turned over to Barton and Gary Harris.
Stay tuned, we'll have more information as it becomes available.