Nuggets’ Will Barton To Refuse Extension

Nuggets swingman Will Barton will turn down a contract extension and become an unrestricted free agent in 2018, reports Chris Haynes of

At age 26, Barton has blossomed into one of the league’s top sixth men, averaging 13.7 points per night and shooting 37% from 3-point range in 60 games this year. He will make a little more than $3.53MM in 2017/18 in the final season of a three-year contract.

The Nuggets expected Barton to test free agency and try to land a big contract in the prime of his career, Haynes adds.

The new collective bargaining agreement allows players on three-year deals to receive extensions starting on the second anniversary of the signing. Barton could have gotten a new deal starting at either 120% of his salary for 2017/18 or the average salary for next season, which is projected at about $9MM. Given 8% annual increases, Barton’s extension would have been valued at about $39MM over four years.

Haynes notes that Barton could be looking at much more, considering the contracts that were handed out to similar players last summer. The Trail Blazers matched a four-year, $75MM offer for Allen Crabbe and gave Evan Turner $70MM over four seasons. The Hawks re-signed Kent Bazemore for four years at $70MM. Barton has outscored each of them over the past two seasons.

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