Jokic was signed to a deal worth just $2.9 million for the 18-19 season. Free agency begins on July 1 at midnight ET.
By declining Jokic's option and giving him a well-deserved, according to his performances, maximum deal, the Nuggets secure not only that the player stays with the team for a long time but that he's also paid in a satisfactory manner. Both the franchise and Jokic's representatives have worked through discussions on his future in recent weeks, league sources said. The Nuggets do, however, have some cap flexibility ($34 million) with the expiring contracts, but will have to toe the line carefully if they hope to bring back one of their most important assets.
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He finished with 10 triple-doubles last season, the fourth-most in the National Basketball Association and the most among centers. The idea that Nikola Jokic, the jovial, fun-loving young big man from Serbia would in any way change once he landed an inevitable big contract?
"Whatever keeps him here the longest is best for us and best for the team", Connelly said the morning after Jokic's 35-point, 10-rebound performance in Denver's do-or-die game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on the final day of the regular season.
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