As expected, Darrell Arthur has opted in to his 2018-19 option with the Denver Nuggets, according to Shams Charania at Yahoo.
Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur has exercised his $7.4M player option for the 2018-19 season, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 15, 2018
Getting paid a million dollars for every minute played per game is a good gig if you can get it, especially if you only play 19 games as Arthur did last year. When he signed his 3 year, 23 million dollar deal during the great cash grab of the 2016 offseason it was a very reasonable signing for that summer. Marvin Williams got 4 years and 54.5 million that summer, and Timofey Mozgov famously got 4 years and $64 million apparently for starring in some amazing pizza commercials.
Unfortunately, Arthur’s knees have continued to deteriorate, making it hard to get on the floor let alone stay there. He flew to Germany last summer for specialized treatment but that didn’t help his situation. Coach Michael Malone has praised his leadership and professionalism more than once, but it’s unlikely that Arthur is ever a difference maker on the court again for significant stretches.
This summer is tight for free agents anyway, and many players around the league are looking at their player options and choosing to exercise them, unlike in years past. Denver’s own Wilson Chandler could be the next to do so. Arthur was always likely to opt-in due to his health situation though, so this is not a surprise. Denver could still include him in a trade, or stretch and waive him to save almost $5 million against the cap for this season if necessary.
But for now, Arthur is back for another season of quiet leadership and towel-waving in Denver.