Nuggets working to sign Jamal Murray to four-year, $209 million contract extension, per report

The Denver Nuggets are working towards signing Jamal Murray to a four-year, $209 million contract extension, per ESPN. Murray was entering the final year of his contract with the upcoming season, and by agreeing to a deal now, it avoids the risk of Murray becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Since being drafted by the Nuggets with the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Murray rose to become one of the top point guards in the league. He’s created a formidable duo with Nikola Jokic in Denver and helped lead the Nuggets to a championship in 2023. Murray’s come up huge in the postseason for the Nuggets on numerous occasions, and since the 2018-19 season, he’s been the fifth highest-scoring player in the playoffs. The four other guys ahead of him in that category (Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry and Trae Young) have all earned All-Star nods, which is the one thing Murray’s been unable to get. But that’s certainly not for lack of trying. Murray’s been one of the most consistent players in the league, but it’s tough to break through in a Western Conference with an endless number of elite backcourt players.

All-Star or not, though, it doesn’t take away from how impactful Murray is on the offensive side of the ball. He’s coming off a season where he averaged career highs across the board, including 21.2 points, 6.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting the ball better than he ever has at 48.1% from the field and 42.5% from deep. Murray’s deal ensures he and Jokic will be together until at least 2028 when Jokic has a player option.

And now that Murray’s new contract is checked off, Denver can focus on other areas of concern on the roster, primarily the potential departure of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. There’s no denying how important Caldwell-Pope was in Denver’s championship run, but he’s played above what he was getting paid, which is why it wasn’t surprising that he’s reportedly declining his $15.4 million player option to test unrestricted free agency. There’s a real possibility that the Nuggets lose KCP in free agency to another team that can pay him significantly more, unless they are able to create more cap space.

If Caldwell-Pope leaves, it will be interesting to see how Denver fills that void. Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth said after the first round of the NBA Draft that he thinks second-year guard Christian Braun could step into that role for them. Braun has proven to be a valuable role player and had big moments in the team’s championship run. But we’ll have to see if he can become a full-time starter.

Figuring out what to do about KCP’s free agency is just one important question facing the Nuggets, but at least they know Murray is under contract for the foreseeable future, which is a positive.

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