The Nuggets want to see what this roster can do when healthy and are running it back with their free agents — Will Barton, JaMychal Green, and Austin Rivers — and they are adding Jeff Green to the frontcourt, according to multiple reports. Here is the news:
Free agent guard Will Barton is finalizing an agreement to re-sign with the Denver Nuggets on a two-year, $32 million deal, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 2, 2021
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 2, 2021
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 3, 2021
Free agent forward/center Jeff Green has agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with the Denver Nuggets, his agent Jason Glushon of @GlushonSM tells ESPN. The deal includes a player option in the second year.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 2, 2021
Re-signing Barton was a priority for the Nuggets and GM Tim Connelly. Underrated outside Denver, he was a rock as the team’s starting two guard and a good fit with Jokic and Murray, when healthy — a variety of injuries have sidelined him for much of the last three playoffs, including this one. He averaged 12.7 points a game last season when healthy. Denver was going to pay to keep him, it only had the mid-level exception to replace him and would not have got someone as good. Now they just need to keep him on the court in big games.
With Paul Millsap gone in Denver, bringing back JaMychal Green was another offseason priority for the Nuggets. The addition of Jeff Green gives the Nuggets a couple of Greens to play with and behind Jokic; both bring shooting and athleticism, but someone will need to fill the defense and rebounding roles of Millsap.
Austin Rivers was brought in last season after Murray’s injury and was solid for Denver, bringing him back gives coach Michael Malone someone he trusts to help hold down the fort until Murray’s return.
Murray’s return — which could be late next season, or he could miss the entire season — will determine if this team could be a threat to win it all. But now, the other pieces are in place.