Report: Jokic, Nuggets set to reach agreement on max extension

NBA.com Global on Jun 26, 2018 07:39 AM
Report: Jokic, Nuggets near agreement on max extension
Denver Nuggets forward Nikola Jokic, of Serbia (AP File Photo/David Zalubowski)

NBA.com staff report

The Denver Nuggets and center Nikola Jokic will reportedly be staying together for the foreseeable future.

According to Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania, the Nuggets plan to reach an agreement on a five-year, maximum contract soon. The Nuggets hold a team option on Jokic and, per Charania, plan to decline that for 2018-19. However, they will work with Jokic to reach an agreement on a max deal from there.

Here's more from Charania on the deal Jokic and the Nuggets are working on:

The Denver Nuggets will decline Nikola Jokic’s team option for next season — making him a restricted free agent — and plan to reach agreement on a five-year, $146.5 million maximum contract with the 23-year-old star, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Jokic has become one of the NBA’s brightest young stars, a 6-foot-10 big man able to shoot from long range, handle the ball, pass, rebound and finish in the paint. The Nuggets’ selection of Jokic with the No. 41 pick in the 2014 NBA draft is a reflection of the franchise’s scouting under president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, and the center’s development as a near All-Star is testament to the work of Jokic and the organization.

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Denver could have exercised a $2.9 million, fourth-year team option for next season but that would have allowed Jokic to enter unrestricted free agency in 2019. Free agency begins on July 1 at midnight ET.

The Nuggets faced a deadline June 29 to decide on Jokic’s option, and they have said repeatedly that they plan to retain Jokic for the long term. Both the franchise and Jokic’s representatives have worked through discussions on his future in recent weeks, league sources said.

The Nuggets' big man set career-highs in scoring (18.5 points per game), rebounding (10.7 rebounds per game) and assists (6.1 assists per game) last season. Denver narrowly missed out on the playoffs, falling a game short of the No. 8 spot. But Jokic did what he could down the stretch in 2017-18, as he averaged 24 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 6.4 apg, 1.4 spg and 1 bpg over the final 18 games of the season.

He finished with 10 triple-doubles last season, the fourth-most in the NBA and the most among centers.

The Nuggets went 8-3 in their last 11 games of 2017-18 and 6-1 in their final seven games. With Jokic leading the way, the Nuggets were one of the NBA’s most potent offensive teams and had the sixth-best offensive rating (109.6) in the league.

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