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Denver Nuggets’ Will Barton declining option, will become free agent

Jun 11, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton (5) gestures after a play in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns during game three in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets swingman Will Barton is declining his $14.7 million player option for the 2021-22 season and becoming an unrestricted free agent, according to multiple reports on Saturday.

Barton signed a four-year, $53 million contract prior to the 2018-19 season, and will undoubtedly receive a deal that pays him more than $14.7 million for next season on the open market.

Barton plays both shooting guard and small forward and is known for his top-flight athleticism.

The 30-year-old Barton averaged 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 56 games (52 starts) last season. He shot a career-best 38.1 percent from 3-point range.

He missed more than six weeks of the season due to a hamstring injury, eventually returning during the Western Conference semifinals when the Nuggets were ousted by the Phoenix Suns.

Barton has career averages of 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 552 games (213 starts) over nine NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers (2012-15) and Nuggets.

–Field Level Media