Will Barton shrugs off trade chat­ter, says he wants to re­main with the team.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Christo­pher Dempsey

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.