Will Barton‘s per-minute production this season has dipped significantly when he hasn’t received regular and significant minutes, as Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post details. Barton has always said he’s the kind of player who gets better the more time he spends on the court, and his numbers have backed that up, so the Nuggets will have to find a way to take advantage of that while finding sufficient minutes for their other rotation players, writes Dempsey.
“It’s a balance of trying to find ways to get him more minutes,” head coach Mike Malone said of Barton. “And it’s not an easy one because Jameer [Nelson] has played well, Gary [Harris] has played well, [Danilo Gallinari] has played well, Jamal Murray – a guy that we believe is a big part of our future – I have to play him. I have to find ways so that when he comes back next year, his rookie season has not been a waste. So, therein lies the challenge of getting Will Barton more minutes when we are fully healthy. But that is something that we constantly talk about and are trying to figure out.”
Malone didn’t even mention Wilson Chandler, who would reportedly like to have a more defined role in the Nuggets’ rotation. The team’s problem of having too many solid players and not enough minutes to go around extends to the frontcourt, where the club has struggled to find consistent minutes for someone like Jusuf Nurkic.
A trade could help the Nuggets narrow down their rotation, and one of our additional items out of Denver relates to that subject. Let’s dive in…
- Rival executives believe the Nuggets’ front office wants to be active at the trade deadline, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. As Kennedy outlines, few NBA teams have the combination of veterans, young players, future draft picks, and cap room that Denver possesses, which makes the Nuggets an interesting team to keep an eye on as the deadline approaches.
- We have a full breakdown of the Nuggets’ cap situation for 2016/17 right here, including salary details on the team’s latest 10-day signings.
- In a fascinating piece for Sports Illustrated, Lee Jenkins takes a closer look at the unusual path Nikola Jokic has taken over the last several years, from a second-round pick to a core piece for Denver’s long-term future.