As he prepares to enter his fourth NBA season, Nuggets guard Monte Morris will become eligible for a contract extension this fall for the first time in his career. And, as Mike Singer of The Denver Post writes, Morris is interested in signing a new deal to remain with his current team in Denver.
“I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone,” Morris told Singer. “I would love to get an extension here. I love Denver. I love everything from the organization to the coaches all the way down to equipment, to everyone. Me personally, hopefully, if it goes that way. I would love to be in Denver for however long.”
Morris, 25, has established himself as one of the more reliable backup point guards in the NBA over the last two seasons, averaging 9.7 PPG, 3.6 APG, and 2.1 RPG on .478/.398/.824 shooting in 155 games (23.3 MPG) during that stretch. His $1.66MM minimum salary for 2020/21 is non-guaranteed for now, but is a lock to become guaranteed.
According to Singer, there’s believed to be mutual interest between Morris and the Nuggets in working something out, though it’s unclear if any serious conversations have taken place so far. The challenge will be reaching an agreement on Morris’ value going forward.
As a minimum-salary player, Morris is eligible for an extension starting at up to 120% of the NBA’s estimated average salary. Based on the current cap numbers, that would work out to approximately $51.4MM over four years.
While the Nuggets may not want to go that high, Singer hears from a league source that anything in the range of $6MM per year would likely be a “non-starter” for Morris. Singer suggests that veteran point guards Tyus Jones and George Hill might make sense as comparables for Morris — both Jones and Hill signed three-year contracts last summer in the range of $9MM per year.
Morris and the Nuggets won’t face a preseason deadline for negotiating an extension, so they could agree to a new deal during the season, like Dillon Brooks and the Grizzlies did in February. If they don’t finalize anything by the end of the 2020/21 league year, Morris will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.