G - DEN
Will Barton has been listed as doubtful with lower back pain ahead of Thursday's game against the 76ers.
Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone was initially optimistic Barton would be able to play, but that does not appear to be the case anymore. Austin Rivers should draw the start, assuming Barton remains sidelined.
Per the Denver Nuggets social media Will Barton will be sitting Monday nights game out due to lower back pain.
With Barton out Austin Rivers is expected to step into the starting lineup for Mondays game. Barton will be considered day-to-day moving forward.
Denver Nuggets G/F Will Barton declined his $14.7M player option and will become a free agent ahead of the 2021-2022 season.
Barton has been a fixture of the Nuggets rotation for the past 6.5 years. Denver is loaded with depth, but the Nuggets are still rumored to be interested in retaining his services. Barton could fetch more than his $14.7M annually, but the former second-round pick is likely looking for a long-term deal. He finished the 2021 season, averaging 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists across 56 games.
Will Barton totaled 10 points (4-8 FG, 2-5 3PT), one rebound, three assists, and one block in the Nuggets’ 123-98 loss to the Suns on Wednesday.
Barton will ready himself for Game Three after the Nuggets’ loss to the Suns, as he made a fiery return to the floor producing 10.0 points in 16 minutes of play. There is a considerable need for offensive production, and Barton could answer the call. Although he is newly removed from his injury, the high level of urgency may force coach Malone's hand to grant him more time on the floor immediately. He is cheap, has decent upside, and is coming in when his skill set is desperately needed; he could be an interesting play for your DFS lineups.
Will Barton plans to test his hamstring during warmups prior to Game 2 against Phoenix and if all goes well, is expected to also return to the lineup.
Barton last played on April 23, so his return would be a huge boost to a Denver team that lost Game 1 by 17 points. Barton could certainly be a valuable DFS asset, but fantasy managers may be better off using the wait and see approach prior to starting him.