Will Barton Is Reportedly Set To Agree To A $50 Million Contract With The Nuggets

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For weeks, the Denver Nuggets have been rumored to be in search of a cost-saving trade that would help the team avoid serious luxury tax penalties for the 2018-19 season. Despite their desperation to avoid a hefty tax bill after Nikola Jokic’s max deal kicks in, they are still doing everything they can to keep their top free agent.

Reports have emerged ahead of the opening of free agency on July 1 that indicate shooting guard Will Barton will remain with the Nuggets on a four-year deal in the $50 million range.

After the initial word from Chris Mannix of Yahoo, David Aldridge of NBA.com provided confirmation.

Zach Lowe of ESPN then offered up some more details on the contract itself, which will include a player option.

Finally, Chris Haynes of ESPN brought word of a number even larger than the original reporting indicated.

The 27-year-old guard enjoyed a career-best season in 2017-18, averaging 15.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game for the Nuggets. As a result of that breakout campaign, Barton was expected to command a hefty salary when the market opened but, in the same breath, the reported $50 million figure is loftier than what was widely thought to be in play.

Beyond that, the Nuggets now project to be more than $20 million over the luxury tax line, seemingly bringing some level of desperation to the proceedings. Deals could materialize to send Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur and/or Wilson Chandler elsewhere but, after a massive reported commitment to Nikola Jokic and this kind of deal for Barton, the Nuggets are clearly moving into a mode that would suggest a desire to win big immediately at increased cost.