Nuggets Rumors

Nuggets Sign Aaron Gordon To Four-Year Extension

SEPTEMBER 28: Nearly two weeks after agreeing to terms, the Nuggets and Gordon officially finalized their extension agreement on Monday, according to NBA.com’s transactions log.


SEPTEMBER 14: The Nuggets and forward Aaron Gordon have reached an agreement on a four-year extension, agent Calvin Andrews of Klutch Sports tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, the deal is worth $92MM and includes a fourth-year player option for 2025/26.

Mike Singer of The Denver Post reported in late August that the Nuggets and Gordon had mutual interest in an extension and would likely reach a deal soon. At that point, Singer anticipated a two- or three-year extension in the range of $20-21MM per year, but it sounds like Denver was willing to go higher to get the former fourth overall pick locked up long-term.

Gordon will earn a base salary of $16,409,091 in 2021/22 – the last year of his current contract – with an extra $1MM available in unlikely incentives. A veteran extension allows for a starting salary 20% higher than the player’s previous salary, and it looks like the Nuggets are going that route with Gordon — his maximum extension would have a base value of about $88.2MM over four years. Adding $1MM in annual unlikely incentives (for All-Star, All-NBA, and All-Defense nods) bumps the total up to the $92MM figure reported by Charania.

After spending the first six years of his career with the Magic, Gordon was part of a midseason trade in his seventh season, having been sent from the Magic to the Nuggets at the 2021 trade deadline. The athletic forward, who will turn 26 on Thursday, helped shore up Denver’s defense down the stretch, though his counting stats (10.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.2 APG on .500/.266/.705 shooting) in 25 games with the club were modest.

Now that Gordon will have a full offseason and training camp as a Nugget under his belt, the team will likely have higher expectations for him going forward. His new extension will make him an important part of a core that also includes Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. Jokic is under contract through 2023, Murray is locked up through 2025, and Porter is entering a contract year, though he’s a good bet to sign an extension of his own before opening night.

Gordon’s new deal is the 15th contract extension – and the 10th veteran extension – of the NBA offseason. His contract will rank seventh out of this summer’s 10 veteran extensions in overall value, slotting in between Terry Rozier (four years, $96MM) and Marcus Smart (four years, $77MM).

Nuggets, Michael Porter Jr. Agree To Five-Year Max Extension

5:29pm: The fifth year of Porter’s contract will be partially guaranteed, according to Ryan McDonough of Audacy Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that MPJ’s fifth-year salary would become fully guaranteed if he meets certain “lofty” performance benchmarks.


3:45pm: The Nuggets and forward Michael Porter Jr. have reached an agreement on a five-year contract extension worth the maximum salary, agent Mark Bartelstein tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The deal currently projects to be worth $172.5MM, based on the NBA’s projection of a $119MM salary cap for the 2022/23 season. However, the contract will include Rose Rule language, allowing Porter to potentially earn 30% of the cap in the first year of the extension (rather than 25% of the cap) if he makes an All-NBA team in 2021/22. In that scenario, the five-year contract would be worth a projected $207MM.

The deal doesn’t include a player option, tweets Mike Singer of The Denver Post.

The Nuggets’ investment signals how far the former 14th overall pick has come since missing his entire rookie season in 2018/19 due to a back injury. After playing a modest role in ’19/20, Porter became a key piece for Denver last season, averaging 19.0 PPG and 7.3 RPG with an impressive .542/.445/.791 shooting line in 61 games (31.3 MPG).

Porter still has plenty of room to improve on the defensive side of the ball, but the 23-year-old has displayed the potential to become one of the NBA’s very best scorers, so there was no chance the Nuggets would let him get away.

With extensions for Porter and Aaron Gordon completed this offseason, the Nuggets’ roster is getting very expensive. The newly-extended forwards won’t even be Denver’s highest-paid players — that honor belongs to veteran stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, who are earning a combined $60MM+ in 2021/22.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, the Nuggets project to carry about $156MM in team salary for the ’22/23 campaign and are on track to be a taxpayer for the first time in over a decade. The team remains below the tax line for the ’21/22 season.

Porter’s deal is the fourth maximum-salary rookie scale extension to be finalized this offseason, with the Nuggets forward joining Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. As our tracker shows, Robert Williams is the only player who has received a rookie scale extension below the max so far in 2021.

Nuggets Sign Matt Ryan, Set 20-Man Camp Roster

The Nuggets have announced their 20-man training camp roster, and with it the signing of Matt Ryan, per a team press release.

Ryan, a 6’7″ rookie forward, went undrafted in 2020 after spending his final season with Chattanooga. He had his most productive season by far as a senior, averaging 15.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 1.9 APG in 30.6 MPG for the Mocs, with a shooting line of .423/.359/.879 across 33 games. He played for Notre Dame and Vanderbilt earlier in his collegiate career, but struggled to gain traction with either team.

The release doesn’t specify the exact details of Ryan’s contract, but it will likely be a standard Exhibit 10 contract.

The signing of Davon Reed, which our JD Shaw previously reported, is now official, per the release.

Denver’s reported deal with Giorgi Bezhanishvili still isn’t official yet, but it could occur later in the preseason.

The Nuggets have 14 players with guaranteed contracts, and guard PJ Dozier has a partial guarantee of $200K. Both of the team’s two-way spots are filled.

Nuggets Notes: Barton, Bol, Porter, Gordon

Nuggets swingman Will Barton has fully recovered from the hamstring injury that forced him to miss most of the playoffs and he’s looking forward to the start of training camp, writes Eric Spyropoulous of NBA.com. Entering his 10th season, Barton is the longest-tenured player on Denver’s roster. It appeared he might be headed elsewhere when he declined a $14.7MM player option this summer, but he wound up re-signing for two years at $32MM.

“This is the best I’ve felt going into a season in two years,” Barton said. “So, I feel like I’m rejuvenated really. I got to really work on my game this offseason, I didn’t get to do that last year.”

During last year’s shortened offseason, Barton was immobilized by an injured right knee and said he had to step away from the game to avoid getting depressed. This year, he immersed himself in basketball and spent a lot of time studying opponents on film when he wasn’t in the gym.

“I’m so excited man. I haven’t been this excited in a while just to be feeling good, knowing I put the work in, knowing I got a lot of work in and got better,” Barton said. “We have a good team. Like I said, we have a lot of good guys and a lot of good talent.”

There’s more from Denver:

  • The Nuggets’ status as a contender has limited the opportunities for Bol Bol, but he may be ready for a breakthrough as he heads into his third season, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Bol stands 7’3″ but has the skills of a smaller player. That can be an asset on offense, but it’s often a liability on defense as his height and thin frame make it difficult for him to guard either inside or on the perimeter. With a compressed schedule last season, Denver rarely was able to practice, which left little time to experiment with the best ways to use Bol. “Our first three years, we were developing, and young guys were given the opportunity to play, and more importantly, play through all their mistakes,” coach Michael Malone said. “Well, Bol doesn’t have that option, man. It’s all trying to be homecourt advantage in the playoffs.”
  • The clock is ticking for Michael Porter Jr. to get a contract extension before the season starts, but he’s not fretting about the outcome, Singer adds in a separate story. Porter said he trusts agent Mark Bartelstein to act in his best interests. “I love basketball,” he said. “It’s not too stressful for me about the money stuff. Of course that’s part of it. I’m just trying to stay in the gym and get better.”
  • The Nuggets saw enough from Aaron Gordon in his two and a half months with the team to be comfortable giving him a four-year extension, president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said on a podcast with Singer and Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post. Connelly said the team was particularly impressed by Gordon’s ability to adapt to a new role after being acquired at the trade deadline.

Nuggets Adding Davon Reed On Training Camp Contract

Free agent guard Davon Reed will sign a training camp deal with the Nuggets, tweets JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors. The signing was confirmed by his agent, Josh Beauregard-Bell of Octagon Basketball.

Reed, 26, was a second-round pick by the Suns in 2017 and played 21 games in his rookie season. He spent the following year with the Pacers on a two-way deal and holds career averages of 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in 31 games.

The addition of Reed, along with the reported deal with Tarik Black, will push Denver to the full roster limit of 20 players heading into next week’s training camp.

Tarik Black Signs Exhibit 10 Deal With Nuggets

9:49am: Black’s contract, which is now official, is an Exhibit 10 deal, sources tell international basketball writer Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link).


9:19am: Tarik Black will attempt an NBA comeback with the Nuggets, according to a tweet from his representatives, Priority Sports. The agency doesn’t offer any details on his contract, but it’s likely a non-guaranteed training camp deal.

The 29-year-old center played four years with the Lakers and Rockets, but has been out of the league since the 2017/18 season. He has career averages of 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in 220 games.

Black has been playing overseas ever since and spent last season with Zenit Saint Petersburg in Russia. He left the team in July.

Black’s signing will bring the Nuggets to 19 players for training camp if they complete a rumored deal with Giorgi Bezhanishvili. Denver has 14 guaranteed contracts, so Black will be fighting for one open roster spot.

Nuggets Notes: Jokic, Morris, Offseason

Nikola Jokic isn’t going to make any predictions or boasts about how the Nuggets will do this season, Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post writes. The league’s reigning Most Valuable Player says he’s not sure if they’re good enough to win a championship.

“If everybody buys in and everybody plays the right way, there is a chance, of course,” Jokic said. “Do we have enough talent? I don’t know. Are we the best team in the NBA? I don’t know. So we will see. The season is going to show us everything. As for goals for the season? You know, I don’t make any goals for the season. Of course, everybody says championship, (but) that’s what they were saying the last seven years. I’m not going to say championship, that’s just something in our imagination or something we want to do.”

We have more on the Nuggets:

  • Monte Morris said he’s been nagged by knee tendinitis throughout his NBA career, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post. Morris underwent focused rehabilitation and medical management for approximately 10 weeks this summer and feels like he’ll regain his explosiveness. “For me to take this step where I want to go, on my end, personally, without that being done to it, it was going to be very tough,” Morris said. “It’s something I’ve been dealing with my whole career.”
  • The Nuggets’ front office received a C grade from The Athletic’s Zach Harper in his offseason evaluation. The team didn’t significantly improve at any position and it needs to find more of a defensive identity with this core group, in Harper’s estimation.
  • In case you missed it, the team signed forward Petr Cornelie to a two-way contract over the weekend. Get the details here.

Gordon Extension Signals All-In Mindset

  • The agreed-upon four-year, $92MM extension between the Nuggets and forward Aaron Gordon is a sign that the franchise is going all out win a title in the next three seasons, Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post opines. It’s a declaration that Nikola Jokic and the core group is good enough to capture the championship, regardless of the moves made by the Lakers and other contenders.

Nuggets Sign Petr Cornelie To Two-Way Deal

The Nuggets have signed forward Petr Cornelie to a two-way contract, according to a team press release.

The 6’11” Cornelie appeared in 34 games for Elan Bearnais of the French LNB Pro A league last season, averaging 14.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG and 1.5 APG while shooting 54.0% from the field and 44.2% from 3-point range in 28.9 MPG. The 26-year-old also helped France’s national team earn a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Cornelie, who has played professionally overseas since 2013, was a draft-and-stash selection by Denver as the 53rd pick in the 2016 draft. He has appeared in 14 games for three Nuggets summer league teams from 2016-18, averaging 5.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 1.0 APG in 16.8 MPG.

With guard Markus Howard holding the other spot, the Nuggets now have both two-way slots filled.

2021/22 NBA Over/Unders: Northwest Division

The 2021/22 NBA regular season will get underway next month, so it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign and to resume an annual Hoops Rumors tradition.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

In 2020/21, our voters went 17-13 on their over/under picks. Can you top that in ’21/22?

As a reminder, the NBA played a 72-game schedule in 2020/21, so a team that won 41 games last year finished with a 41-31 record. This year, a club that wins 41 games would be a .500 team (41-41). For added clarity, we’ve noted the record that each team would have to achieve to finish “over” its projected win total.

We’ll turn today to the Northwest division…


Utah Jazz

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Jazz poll.


Denver Nuggets

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Nuggets poll.


Portland Trail Blazers

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Trail Blazers poll.


Minnesota Timberwolves

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Timberwolves poll.


Oklahoma City Thunder

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Thunder poll.


Previous voting results:

Atlantic:

  • Brooklyn Nets (55.5 wins): Over (63.2%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (51.5 wins): Under (70.0%)
  • Boston Celtics (46.5 wins): Over (58.1%)
  • New York Knicks (42.5 wins): Over (65.1%)
  • Toronto Raptors (36.5 wins): Under (50.6%)