Will Barton shrugs off trade chatter, says he wants to remain with the team.
Will Barton doesn’t have to seek it out to know what’s going on. The information comes to him.
In the past calendar year, he has been one of the most coveted players on the Nuggets’ roster. The Nuggets were offered a firstround draft pick for him last year, but they declined.
Barton hopes he stays with the team.
“It’s tough, but you hear a lot of stuff going around,” Barton told The Denver Post. “I don’t pay any attention to it. I try not to let it enter my mind and enter things that I’ve got going on. I’m here; I like it here. I just try to work hard every day, perform and just get wins for my teammates. That’s all I care about, just focusing on the Denver Nuggets.”
NBA teams once again are contacting the Nuggets to check if they have interest in a trade involving Barton. But Barton, a rapidly improving guard in the second year of a three-year contract worth $11 million, has no interest in leaving Denver and has let management know that.
“They know I want to be here. It’s no secret,” he said. “I want to be a part of this core that gets it right. I feel like we’re making huge strides. We’re right there, kind of fighting for that eighth seed. I feel like we’ve just gotten our team completely healthy, and I want to be part of that and they know that.”
Barton burst onto the scene last season, his first full season of getting consistent, significant minutes. He finished fourth in NBA sixth man of the year balloting.
This season he is averaging 14.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. He has bounced back from a badly sprained ankle Oct. 31 and said he is feeling like himself again.
“Teams calling trying to check my availability means that I’m doing something right,” Barton said. “My body is still getting better. I feel like my game is getting better. I’m seeing progress game in and game out, getting back to my regular routine being the first one in the gym to get my rhythm. I’m feeling good.”