The 12 years of NBA experience from Will Barton have earned him the trust of always being a potential asset to improve any squad in the league. Now that the Toronto management made available a spot in their roster after waiving Juancho Hernangomez, the Raptors immediately proceded to sign the veteran guard for the rest of the season.
Standing at 6-foot-5, Barton has averaged 7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 19.6 minutes over 40 contests this campaign with the Wizards, before he was waived in Washington on February 21st.
Amazingly enough, the 32-year-old already made his debut last night with Toronto, as he entered in the second half against the Bulls. Check out the scenes this Tuesday in Chicago as the player played for his new team after being signed on the same day:
Will Barton makes his Raptors debut🔥 pic.twitter.com/e5PNgeobfb
— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) March 1, 2023
“He’s an interesting player. He’s played a lot in the league on a team that won a lot,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, referring back to when Barton was part of three playoff runs with the Nuggets. “He’s an offence creator, can play the screen and roll, can also shoot the three.”
Besides Denver and Washington, the 32-year-old also played for the Portland Trail Blazers, back when he started off as a professional in 2012. After three years in Oregon, he was transfered to Colorado for eight long seasons where he played his best basketball, achieving a career-high 15.7 points per game in 2017.
Finally, he was traded to the Wizards in the last off-season after he dropped 14.7 points per match after 71 starts for Denver in the 2021/22 championship.
Throughout his entire 663 game career, Barton has averaged 11.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 25.5 minutes, dropping an efficient 35.5% from beyond the arc, but improving his shooting attempts this season from three-pointers at 38%.
Right before the clash in Chicago, coach Nurse said for know he is expected to be a regular rotation player. “We’ll have to see how we can work him in and where he goes,” he said last night. “I think there’s probably some times we call for some backcourt help off the bench and we’ll see if he can provide that.”
What will happen with Spanish national team star Hernangomez?
As for Hernangomez, who had only signed with Toronto for a one-year $2.2 million contract last summer, had been averaging 2.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 14.6 minutes in 42 contests so far this tournament.
Across his seven-year career as a professional, the power foward has averaged 5.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 15.5 minutes in a total of 339 NBA matches.
Not too long ago, since the player hadn’t been enjoying sustantial playing time in the Canadian team, last month we included him in our list for the Top 5 NBA players who might be eyeing their returns to Europe after this season.
Let’s not forget that just last summer, he led the Spanish national team to win the 2022 FIBA EuroBasket competition in the final against France.
You can watch his highlights below:
Nurse said that Hernangomez had “some decent moments” in Toronto but that his discharge was motivated mostly by financial reasons.
“It always comes down to contractual situations, really the business side of things,” the coach said. “There was some other guys that just had different contract setups. So this was the choice that we ended up taking.”