• Evan Dyal

Dream Signing: Indiana Pacers


Photo Courtesy: Denver Post

Will Barton is coming off a career year with the Denver Nuggets averaging 15.7 points and 4.1 assists on 45% shooting from the field and 37% shooting from three. He started 40 games for the Nuggets but is probably best as a sixth man. Barton is not a great defender but is at least passable. Nonetheless, at only 27 years old, he set himself up for a nice payday.

Denver would love to keep him, but it will be tough. He fits perfectly with their roster and they are very thin at the wing spot. According to recent reports the Nuggets want to sign Nikola Jokic to the max, and there is not much more room after that. Even if they salary dump Kenneth Faried, it will be tough. Barton is probably looking for a deal in the four year/$40 million range.

Only a few teams would be willing or able to offer them somewhere around that, and the team that makes the most sense is the Indiana Pacers. They need another wing and Barton could either come into the starting lineup at the small forward position, replacing Bogdan Bogdanovic or be a sixth man and a better version of Lance Stephenson. Barton can legitimately play spots one through three on offense.

Either way, Barton would bring the Pacers some excellent lineup flexibility. As a pick and roll handler, he could spell Victor Oladipo for a bit, or spot up off him. Barton is good in either situation, rankings in the 67th percentile and 78th percentile in each category. Even though he can get tunnel vision at times, he is a better passer than you think.

A great athlete who is only 27 and can shoot is a great commodity. Barton is not done improving yet either, and if the Pacers can get him on a 10 million dollar per year deal, that may end up being a steal. If he improves his defense a little bit and rounds out his game, watch out!

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