If there was an established piece in Denver, beyond stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, it was Will Barton. The forward, a regular starter for Mike Malone in recent seasons, had accumulated up to eight consecutive seasons playing for the Nuggets when he learned at the end of June that he was traded to the Washington Wizards. He didn’t expect it. He felt secure as a member of a contending team in which he had an established role. It is not surprising that at first he was unsettled.
“It was like a shock, but not too much. He was a shock because obviously I had been there for eight years and did a lot of stuff with those guys. It’s always shocking when you’ve been in a place for so long and you have to move on. But at the same time, I accepted it. I’m welcoming a new chapter,” he tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post.
Now it’s up to Barton to row to get the Wizards to break that barrier that prevents them from being a competitive team. The people of the capital have been aimless for years and living off meager periods of success, such as entering 2021 (the only time in the last four years). Barton knows a lot about this. When he came to the Nuggets in 2014 the situation was not much better. One of the things the veteran forward is most proud of is having helped establish a cult winner in the Colorado organization.
“Just being able to change all that, that’s the most important thing. I got there and we were no good. We didn’t have a good culture. Seeing where the team is now, and knowing that I played a big role along the way, couldn’t be more rewarding. That’s the biggest achievement I see on a personal level when I look back,” she says.
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