Report: Barton declines player option with Nuggets, become free agent

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There is a good chance that Will Barton will still be a Denver Nugget next season — but the man wants to get paid.

Barton has declined his $14.7 million player option for next season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The deadline for Barton to opt-out was today (Saturday).

There are reasons for both sides to want to strike a new deal.

For Barton, a quality two guard but who, at age 31 has had unfortunate injury timing the past couple of seasons, no team may be willing to offer the money and years the Nuggets could.

For Denver, this is their starting shooting guard and one who fits well with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. They have his Bird rights and can give him the years and security he wants. If Barton were to leave, the Nuggets would have their mid-level exception of $9.5 million to replace him, and that’s not likely to land a player as good as Barton.

While the smart money is on Barton staying in Denver, other teams will make calls and test the waters. It’s something to watch.