Darrell Arthur has opted in to remain with the Nuggets, the team announced. He’ll make $3,457,149 next season, the final year on his contract. The Jerry Hicks client was strongly leaning toward picking up the option as of March. Arthur’s decision plus Nate Robinson‘s opt-in adds about $5.564MM to Denver’s commitments for 2014/15, though both were expected to remain on their contracts.
The Nuggets will have about $64.6MM in guaranteed salary for next season with Arthur and Robinson in tow, not counting the salary for the team’s No. 11 pick. Denver will almost assuredly enter July over the salary cap, projected to come in at $63.2MM. The team’s involvement in recent Kevin Love talks indicates that GM Tim Connelly is pursuing major changes via trade, with the prospect of a free agent signing for more than the mid-level likely off the table.
Arthur didn’t have much impact for the Nuggets after coming over via trade a year ago. He averaged 5.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game this past season. He’s never averaged double-figures in points or rebounds and 20.1 MPG is his career high, so it’s likely the 26-year-old wouldn’t have been able to find a salary equal to the value of his option on the open market. He’ll instead attempt to build his stock in advance of free agency next summer.