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Darrell Arthur declines player option with Nuggets, becomes unrestricted free agent

Harrison Wind Avatar
June 25, 2016


As expected, forward Darrell Arthur declined his $2.9 million player option with the Denver Nuggets for the 2016-17 season and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Arthur’s option, which was negotiated into his contract last summer when re-signed with the Nuggets, had an opt-out deadline of Wednesday, the day before the draft, as most options do. Arthur could be in high demand this summer. Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times confirmed Arthur’s opt out.

The 28-year-old enjoyed one of his best seasons statistically last year in Denver, averaging 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in a career-high 21.7 minutes per game. Arthur also shot a career-best 38.5 percent from 3-points range on almost one three per game.

However, on defense, is where Arthur proves his worth. The seven-year veteran is a stout defender, was the Nuggets best communicator on defense last season, and was coach Michael Malone’s most trusted defender on that end of the floor. The Nuggets were 4.8 points better defensively per 100 possessions with Arthur on the court last season.

Teams tried to pry him out of Denver during last season’s trade deadline, but Arthur let general manager Tim Connelly know that he wanted to stay in the Mile High City. The Pistons and Clippers were among the teams interested in Arthur last year.

The Nuggets will surely try to bring Arthur back and odds are he will remain in Denver next season, but will cost significantly more than he did last summer when he signed for two years and roughly $6 million. The Nuggets have anywhere between $21.3 and $32.7 million to spend this summer and a contract in the neighborhood of three years, and $30 million would be a good starting point.

Arthur's improved jumper helped his all-around game last season. Credit: Chris Humphreys, USA TODAY Sports
Arthur’s improved jumper helped his all-around game last season. Credit: Chris Humphreys, USA TODAY Sports


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