Now that Wilson Chandler has opted into the final year of his contract and Nikola Jokic is on track to sign a massive new deal of his own, Will Barton may be odd man out in Denver. However, speaking after the draft to reporters, including Michael Kelly of The Associated Press, Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said that retaining Barton “is still a priority.”
While Connelly says the Nuggets will be “aggressive” trying to keep the free agents they want back, re-signing Barton to a fair deal could push team salary north of $140MM, which would lead to a huge luxury tax bill.
As we wait to see how Denver handles its possible cap issues, let’s round up a few more notes out of the Northwest…
- Within a lengthy discussion with Britt Robson on the Timberwolves‘ offseason plans, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes that Minnesota would love to bring back Nemanja Bjelica, who is a free agent this summer. Second-round pick Keita Bates-Diop will provide some frontcourt insurance if Bjelica departs, but the club values the 30-year-old veteran as a known – and reliable – commodity, Krawczynski adds.
- Erik Horne of The Oklahoman assesses the market for Paul George, suggesting that the Lakers and Sixers look like the biggest threats to pry the All-Star forward away from the Thunder.
- Although George is the Thunder‘s most important free agent, the club will have decisions to make this offseason on several other contributors, says Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. As Dawson details, Jerami Grant figures to be Oklahoma City’s most sought-after free agent besides George, so it will be a challenge for the Thunder to bring him back.