Paul Millsap will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has expressed a desire to retain the big man, along with a hope that he’ll spend the rest of his career in Denver, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post.
“I would love to see Paul retire in a Nuggets jersey,” Connelly said on Wednesday. “What he brought to this team and this city has been pretty special. … I don’t think we could’ve asked for anything more in terms of where we are. He taught us so much about winning and how to get to this point.”
Millsap, who signed a three-year deal worth more than $90MM with the Nuggets back in 2017, has been a reliable presence in the frontcourt alongside star center Nikola Jokic. In 159 games (26.9 MPG) over those three seasons, he averaged 12.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 2.1 APG to go along with a .478/.381/.740 shooting line and his usual strong play on defense.
According to Singer, Millsap has yet to make any decisions regarding his free agency. The 35-year-old is still processing his 83-day stint in the Orlando bubble and plans to take his time as he considers his next move.
Singer suggests that this isn’t the first time Millsap has heard the refrain about the Nuggets wanting him to retire with the team, and that may be a factor in his decision. However, there will also be financial matters to consider.
The Nuggets hold Millsap’s Bird rights and can offer him any amount up to the max, but fellow free agent forward Jerami Grant will likely be the team’s first priority. If and when Grant signs a new deal, Denver’s maneuverability below the tax line will be a factor as the team mulls a potential offer for Millsap and other roster moves.
Singer notes that any offer from the Nuggets would reflect the fact that the Millsap wasn’t as effective in the playoffs as he was early in the season. While he played a part in helping Denver reach the Western Conference Finals, the big man’s production was down in the postseason (8.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, .398 FG%).