Nuggets Decline Nikola Jokic’s Option, Extend QO

JUNE 25, 10:20pm: The Nuggets filed the paperwork to decline their team option late Monday night, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. That clears the way for Jokic to sign what will likely be a five-year max contract next month, Wojnarowski adds.

JUNE 25, 2:19pm: The Nuggets have officially extended a qualifying offer to Jokic, per RealGM’s transactions log. That’s a signal that the club has formally turned down his option.

As we heard earlier today, Jokic and the Nuggets are expected to finalize a five-year, maximum-salary contract once free agency begins.

JUNE 24, 1:50pm: In a story primarily regarding the decision of Wilson Chandler to exercise his player option with the Nuggets for the 2018/19 season, Gina Mizell of The Denver Post is reporting that a league source says Denver will decline the $1.6MM team option for franchise big man Nikola Jokic.

By declining the option, the Nuggets will make Jokic a restricted free agent eligible to sign a maximum-salary contract with Denver this summer – something that Jokic’s camp has been jockeying for since early-May (link).

The reported declination, while substantial, really comes as no surprise, with Jokic’s agent telling the Nuggets earlier this year that picking up his client’s 2018/19 option would hinder Denver’s chances of locking Jokic up long-term.

Moreover, if Denver does exercise the option, Jokic would become an unrestricted free agent next summer, leaving the Nuggets without a right of first refusal during free agency

“Nikola’s going to be here for a long, long time,” president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said following Thursday night’s 2018 NBA draft. “I think whatever we do, we’re going to ensure he’s here as long as possible. When that moment happens, we’re going to talk to Nikola and his brothers and his representation. He’ll be in Denver for a long, long time. He’ll be buying (a home) here.”

Assuming the report is accurate and the Nuggets decline his option, Jokic, 23, will be eligible to sign a five-year contract worth approximately $146.45MM this summer.

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37 thoughts on “Nuggets Decline Nikola Jokic’s Option, Extend QO

  1. acarneglia

    As much as it hurts to start paying him big bucks so soon it’s the right decision for Denver. Can’t risk him leaving as a UFA next year, it’s smart to make him an RFA now. Barton is probably gone with a Jokic extension and the Porter pick and Faried will probably be traded.

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  2. Z-A

    This move puts them into the luxury tax if I’m not mistaken.

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    • Clark Crum

      True. But they are actively looking to trade Faried and I wouldn’t be surprised if Chandler is on the block soon as well.

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        • The NBA is the worst league when it comes to handing out useless contracts. There’s just so many ‘bad’ contracts out there.

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          • SuperSinker

            If the NFL guaranteed their players salaries it would definitely be the worst league.

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            • If the NFL fully guaranteed salaries, the whole contract/cap system would have to be fully revamped. The cap would likely have to go to a soft cap/hard cap system (instead of the flat hard cap currently in place). Contracts would also likely deflate in the beginning as teams would likely only offer short term contracts with deflated salaries. The union would likely have to explain to the players that they would have to take less on their contracts if they wanted it to be fully guaranteed. The league would also have to institute a max contract amount to prevent players’ contract demands from getting too far out of hand.

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      • x%sure

        Denver’s 3 extraneous players only have a year left. Ownership will likely bite the bullet for this year. Chandler is actually still needed since Barton is likely out.

        Jokic is worth the largesse. He would get max offers. IDK his ties to DEN.

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  3. Luckylefty2

    SMH Denver did you watch the finals at all?! Jokic wouldn’t play more than 10 minutes.

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    • Itrainsontuesday

      I disagree. He has a very similar skill set to Draymond, he’s just bigger.

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      • Yes exactly! Great call.

        Wonderful passer, great vision and shot blocking

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          • Capela is very much improved. I was very impressed with him in the playoffs. Worked hard ran the floor well was an excellent option 4 Harden with the alley-oop… he caught everything, blocked a lot of shots, protected The Rim. Capella was outstanding.

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            • Capela makes the Rockets a superteam. He’s to Houston what Robert Parish was to Boston!

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      • Luckylefty2

        Skill set yes, but he doesn’t move like Draymond nor he doesn’t he play defense like Draymond so….

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      • imindless
        imindless

        Green was arguablely the worst player on the court during the finals. Dude cannot shoot!!! People flame lonzo but lonzo is as good at stuffing the stat sheet.

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    • You’re wrong. A. Denver are a good few years from finals contention by which time GSW will be in decline. B. He can defend Draymond and make the Warriors play to his pace. C. Check the season series. Not one sided at all… D. Teams should play to their strengths and stop worrying about matching up with Golden State.

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      • Luckylefty2

        Season series lol nuggets didn’t even make the playoffs. Playoffs is a different animal my friend.

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      • I like “D.”

        I think you’re right, make them match up with you because nobody is as good as the Warriors at being the Warriors, so to speak. They have perfected small ball so why even try to match that.

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        • brewcrew08

          Did you just say Jokic could get GS to play to his pace? Yeah that’s why GS won back to back titles and Denver can’t make the playoffs. GS got there by playing other teams paces smh.

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          • I’m saying it’s tough to beat the Warriors at the Warriors game. Maybe play a big guy and have the Warriors try to match up with that. I don’t know. They’re tough to beat… you got his try something different.

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            • Luckylefty2

              You don’t think teams have already tried that ? that’s the mentality that these teams have until GS is fast breaking and raining 3s and next thing u no they have a small forward at the 5.

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  4. Great move for Denver, that is the first step to a very very bright future, this guy can ball, he is totally different than Draymond, but that is to say that he is totally better than Draymond too, this guy is one of the best C’s I have ever seen, absolutely unbelievable baller. Don’t care about match ups with GSW, people say the same about NOLA, but AD & DMC, at their best would destroy the Warriors in my opinion. Who would stop them? KD? Draymond? Lol man!!! I do think always big guys are the difference makers, the problem is that for many years the top teams haven’t had good bigs, but things are changing with Jokic, KAT, Embiid, AD, DMC… & all of these rookies & young guys coming alone, in time the bigs will regain their rightful spot as the dominant giants of this league, stopping all this nonsense of small ball, that was created for teams without a C, because they were not good enough teams… still holds truth, IMO.

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  5. Dionis

    Jokic is the perfect big to have on offense against the Warriors.

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    • Except Dwight Howard wants to join the Warriors. That’ll change things!

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    • Luckylefty2

      What about defense lol whoever Jokic is guarding sets a ball screen ball, SWITCH ! Lol

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  6. The Nuggets don’t even know if Porter will be able to play next season. It may be a repeat of Joel Embiid’s situation. That’s why he fell to them.

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        • I watched all 4 games of the NBA championship and loved every minute of it. I think next years championship between Boston and Golden State will be very exciting. When Gary Harris is your best player, don’t get your hopes up. Denver tried to dump Faried during the draft. Rumor had it Faried and the 15th pick going to Indiana for Al Jefferson and the 23rd pick. Nobody took any salary dumps, did they (Chandler Parsons)?

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  7. Kevin Pritchard said the Pacers actually had a player they wanted higher up, but the teams wanted too much. They were going to pull the trigger with Milwaukee, but decided to wait and got the player they wanted in Holiday. They say Holiday is a clone of Collison and both are from UCLA.

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  8. roxxonfire123

    Most of these comments are comparing incomparable players. You can’t compare a point forward to a rim protector. You can’t compare a point forward to a high effort, scrappy player.

    He’s the oldest member of the core. We’ll how good the team is when they are all 25-30.

    Also Porter Jr isn’t going anywhere.

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