Could poor Toronto Raptors stint end Will Barton’s NBA career?

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 28: Will Barton #1 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 28: Will Barton #1 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

After waiving Juancho Hernangomez following a disappointing stretch of basketball, the Toronto Raptors quickly agreed to a contract with Will Barton. A veteran shooter who has spent time on Denver Nuggets teams that made some deep runs in the playoffs, Barton seemed perfect for a team that needed more shooting.

Some were quick to doubt that a player who fell out of the rotation for another aggressively boring team in the Washington Wizards would immediately impact their rotation, and their suspicions were proven correct. Barton actually saw less playing time in terms of minutes per game.

Barton averaged 4.5 points per game, which is his worst performance in that area since his rookie season. Barton shot just 35% from the field and 33% from 3-point range, further solidifying the notion that he is no longer a quality rotation player in this league.

Despite the fact that he has years of experience as a shooter off the bench and was a double-digit per-game scorer in his time with the Nuggets, the free agent guard has found it next to impossible to find work. The Barton signing has proven to be a debacle for everyone involved.

Did the Toronto Raptors impact Will Barton’s career negatively?

Barton’s success is looking like a product of Nikola Jokic’s gravity more than anything else over the last post-Denver year, as his shots were less open in Washington and Toronto. While he is a solid athlete who can attack the rim, shooting is what will butter his bread at this level from now on.

His defense with the Raptors last year was incredibly poor, and he was not a threat to create for himself or his teammates when the ball made his way to him. Near the end of the regular season, Barton’s minutes already started to diminish.

Barton will turn 33 years old next season, but the optimistic supporter of his still has reasons to hope that he can put his poor season under Nick Nurse behind him. Can someone who was regarded as an excellent shooter for his whole career devolve like that so quickly?

Barton needs to go to a contending team who has the willingness to put up with a player that is currently in the middle of some serious offensive struggles. However, as his agent tries to get him offers in the NBA, that Raptors tape is going to be very hard for many GMs to ignore.

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