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NBA

Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic wants a contract extension

While there was indeed speculation about his future, the Nuggets talisman has declared his intention to resign with the franchise, putting rumors to rest.

Paul Rudder
Update:
Though his team had a disappointing exit from the NBA playoffs against the Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic wants a contract extension with the franchise.
Cary EdmondsonUSA TODAY Sports

Though his team had to swallow a bitter pill this post season, the reigning league MVP wants to return to the Nuggets next season, which can only mean good things.

Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic wants contract extension

While the Denver Nuggets will surely still be licking their wounds, after exiting the first round of the playoffs courtesy of a 2nd half revival by Steph Curry and his Golden State Warriors, they will definitely find room for a smile with the news that star Nikola Jokic intends to return to the franchise next season. Indeed, when asked post game whether he plans to re-sign with the Nuggets during the offseason Jokic answered matter-of- factly saying, “If offer’s on the table of course I’m going to accept it.”

What do the numbers on Nikola Jokic’s deal look like?

With no looming free agency - Jokic’s contract expires at the end of next season - the Serbian center will be eligible to re-sign at the ‘super-max’ rate. What does that mean? Quite simply, Jokic’s new deal would start off at 35% of the projected salary cap as well as see him paid an 8% raise each year over the course of the next five years. Not bad at all. The figures will of course be dependent on where the Nuggets’ salary cap finally falls, but current projections have placed the deal at just below $263 million in total. At present Jokic’s $33.6 million salary for next season is secured and untouchable. With an estimated $117 million in earnings across the first seven years of his career, the expected deal will lift Jokic to a final figure that is definitely beyond the $400 million threshold, which is to say the most lucrative contract in NBA history.

Is Nikola Jokic worth the cash?

It’s quite common to doubt the worth of any player in any sport when massive salaries are thrown about. Yet consider for a moment that this is a player who won his first MVP award last season and is widely expected to repeat the feat this season. Having averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists across the season, even when key players such as Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray were absent due to injury, the ‘Joker’ never slowed down. Indeed, it was without doubt Jokic who carried the Nuggets to the playoffs - entering as the No. 6 seed - in the first place. What’s more is it took the heavily favored Warriors with Steph Curry and co. a total of five games they could put them to bed. Is Jokic worth it? The money says yes.

What now for the Denver Nuggets?

With Jokic’s declaration and the imminent return of Murray and Porter, the smart money would be on a revamped Denver pushing to the top of the Western Conference in the coming season or somewhere in the region. Assuming the big man and the franchise can iron out the details on an extension, which looks rather likely, the Nuggets will be able to count on all three of their best players right through to the 2024-25 season. With that being the case, Denver will be able to put the disappointment of this season firmly behind them as they build to what will almost certainly be a better one to come.

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