The Denver Nuggets landed a steal on Friday in free agency as sources confirm to CBS Sports what the Denver Post reported earlier, that Darrell Arthur has returned on a 3-year, $23 million deal with a player option for the third year.

In striking a deal with Arthur for just over $7 million per year, the Nuggets retain their best defender and a veteran with a lot of basketball ahead of him. Arthur provides veteran communication and savvy defensive play along with the ability to reliably hit the 18-footer and set solid screens. He's incredibly valuable in multiple areas despite not being a star or even a starter. He makes the team better and for him to return to Denver on this deal says a lot about where the Nuggets have moved their culture to.

Arthur had reportedly talked with the Wizards among other teams. The three-year deal means it isn't a long-term commitment and in a free agency year where everyone is getting huge offers, Arthur instead chose to return to a team where he really believes in what they're building. Arthur requested not to be traded at the NBA trade deadline last season.

With a young core, the Nuggets may continue to struggle in finding wins, but having Arthur back gives them veteran leadership to provide a model for their young bigs who can also provide valuable minutes.

Darrell Arthur returns to Denver on a 3-year deal. USATSI