The report from Fischer includes several tidbits of information, including discussions on Dennis Schroder, Lonzo Ball, and their futures in the league with their respective teams; however, the most pressing bit of information comes at the very bottom with Fischer sharing a quick line on Barton and the Nuggets, a link to which can be found here.
The specifics of the deal are unknown, but this is likely fair market value for Barton, especially a 1 + 1 structure that includes a guaranteed year and a player option on top of it. The Nuggets starting shooting guard is among a number of middle tier free agents on the wing that could be squeezed by a budding point guard market. Barton and his agent will have considered where Barton fits best, maximizing his on and off-court fit while also maximizing the money he can get. It’s possible that they’d prefer a short term deal in a good situation in Denver and revisiting the free agency market at another point in time when more money is available.
On the other side, a two-year deal makes plenty of sense from the Denver side of things. With Jamal Murray out for a significant portion of the 2021-22 season, the Nuggets are in danger of losing a significant chunk of perimeter playmaking for the upcoming season if they lose Barton as well. In the short term, Barton makes sense filling that role. In the long term, it’s less clear, with Barton already being 30 years old and showing signs of wear and tear with significant injuries in three consecutive seasons. The Nuggets may not be comfortable committing to a long term deal, so two years makes significant sense. The Nuggets also project to be a very expensive team going forward following a max rookie extension to Michael Porter Jr., and a large contract to Barton would certainly push Denver over the luxury tax in future years.
Barton averaged 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 31.0 minutes per game as a starting wing for the Nuggets last season. He shot a career high 38.1% from three-point range and appeared to be flourishing as a starter next to Murray, Nikola Jokić, Porter Jr., and newcomer Aaron Gordon for short amount of time those five had together. Keeping that group together and running things back next season while adding to the edges of the roster may be Denver’s best way to win a championship. With Monte Morris, P.J. Dozier, Facundo Campazzo, and Zeke Nnaji also under contract, Denver will have other holes that can still be filled even if they sign Barton.
We will see what happens in a couple of hours.
You can find the report by Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report here.