Nuggets Power Rankings: No. 6, Will Barton


The Denver Nuggets’ preseason roster includes 19 players, and the team will try to figure out which 15 of them deserve a shot during the regular season throughout the team’s seven-game exhibition slate.

But, for now, how do these players stack up? We polled our staff writers and editor at Nugg Love to get a consensus power ranking of every player on the roster, and we’ll be releasing one player each day throughout October, starting from No. 19 and finishing at No. 1.

“A pleasant surprise” sums up Will Barton’s first year in Denver. After coming to Denver from Portland at the trade deadline, Barton brought talent and energy, living up to his nickname, Will “The Thrill”. Now that Barton has resigned a three-year extension worth around 11 million this past offseason, what should the Nuggets expect from the 24-year-old shooting guard? Read on to find out.

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Who is Will Barton?

Barton was drafted 40th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, after two seasons playing college ball at Memphis. With Portland, he showed some flashes, but never got enough playing time to achieve his potential.

The young swingman quickly introduced himself to the Nuggets when he arrived in February, with his streaky three-point shooting, hard drives to the rim and his desire to succeed. With Denver, Barton played 28 games and averaged 11.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per contest over that span.

It is important to note that Barton started his tenure with the Nuggets with a great three-point stroke, but he faltered down the stretch and finished with a 27.1 percent percent success rate.


The 6’6″, 175-pound guard is a smart, skilled scorer. He creates shots for himself and draws attention away from his teammates.

With the ball, Barton can score in a variety of ways, at times being lethal from beyond the arc.

The athletic 24-year-old is especially hard to defend when slashing to the rim. If fouled, he will connect on many of his free throws, making 81 percent while in Denver last season.

After his primary skill of scoring and ball handling, Barton also brings above-average passing, rebounding and effort on the defensive end, with a knack for stealing the ball.


If Barton can be criticized for anything, it would be his size. He’s long, but very thin, which some say keeps him from his full potential. This is noticeable on defending players in the post, going for rebounds against bigger players and finishing at the rim.

However, if Barton continues the endless energy he has shown since arriving in Denver, his effort will continue to somewhat make up for this aspect.

The aforementioned 27.1 percent from three-point range is also a concern. If his shot continues to be off in 2015-16, opponents will learn not to guard him out there and hinder the Nuggets’ spacing.

2015-16 Outlook

Barton comes into the season pushing for a starting shooting guard job. This topic was discussed in an earlier article on Nugg Love seen here.

As the article mentions, Barton will be battling both second-year-player pro Gary Harris and ten-year-veteran Randy Foye for minutes. Therefore, there is no doubt Barton is a lock to make this roster, as he is a big part of the culture change in Denver.

He brought energy and showed his potential in his 28 games in Denver last season. While it is likely he will spilt starting minutes with Harris, Barton will have a large role in Denver this season, as he wants to further establish himself beyond his nickname.

Note: All statistics are from RealGM unless otherwise indicated.

Next: Nuggets Power Rankings: No. 7, Randy Foye