Will Barton III is the topic of our next Denver Nuggets 2019-20 season grades article and what better place to start than on a positive note. After missing 39 games last season due to injury — I’m sorry I know I said I was going to start on a positive note — Barton bounced back by playing and starting in 58 of the Nuggets 63 games this season before everything was abruptly halted due to COVID-19.
Back to the positive though, which was Barton practically carried the Nuggets to victories early in the season when they desperately needed a spark. Nikola Jokic opened the season to a surprisingly slow start, but you know who was there to bail him and the Nuggets out in the end? That’s right, Will Barton III.
Barton best game this season came on January 16th — which feels like forever ago — when he dropped 31 points in the Nuggets overtime victory against the Warriors. In the Nuggets first 15 games, Barton III scored double-digit in 13 of them and really carried the offense at times through that stretch.
On the season, Barton averaged 15.1 points in 33 minutes per game, which is just below (33.1) his career high, which he set during the 2017-18 season. That’s pretty insane considering Barton was coming off a season where he missed a fair amount of games due to injury, but that just shows the resiliency and team first attitude Barton plays with.
It was not just scoring where Barton made his mark as he also averaged 6.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, while also showing much improved play defensively. Not only was Barton constantly contributing on the offensive end of the court, but his energy on defense was infectious and his effort was something the rest of the team could feed off.
Season Grade: A
I will admit, I am not the toughest grader as I have now handed out back-to-back A’s in our player grade series, the first going to Noah Vonleh. But, it would be tough to give Barton a B after the bounce back season he put together in 2019-20.
After going through an injury last season, which is something Barton had never gone though in his career, it was quite remarkable what he was able to accomplish this season.
Not only was Barton III such a presence on the court, but he also was one of the Nuggets main leaders off the floor. Barton is never afraid to speak his mind and on young team that still struggles to find their way at a times, having that veteran leadership is imperative to their success.
What’s next for Will Barton III?
Continue to be a leader on and off the floor, while continuing to provide solid offense and defense. Barton put together a phenomenal bounce back season, so finding a way to build on that next year (or whenever play does resume) would be huge.