Thursday, December 9 2021
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The Denver Nuggets have locked up another key player for the foreseeable future. Michael Porter Jr. and the Nuggets have agreed to a five-year designated max extension, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal is worth $172 million, but it can jump to $207 million if Porter reaches the designated max criteria by making an All-NBA team during the upcoming campaign.

Of the $172 million, $145.3 million is fully guaranteed, while in the fifth year of the deal just $12 million of the projected $39.3 million is guaranteed. The deal becomes fully guaranteed based on All-Star selections, All-NBA, All-Defensive, MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick.

The fact that the two sides were able to reach an agreement Monday isn’t especially surprising given comments that Porter made earlier this month regarding his extension talks. “Everything is sounding great, in the direction that I’d like to be headed,” he said. “Nothing is set in stone, but everything is going smooth as far as that goes.”   

Porter becomes the fourth member of the 2018 draft class to sign a max rookie extension with the super-max provision, following Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Nuggets selected Porter with the 14th overall pick of the ’18 draft, but he missed the entirety of what would have been his rookie season due to a lingering back injury. 

In the two seasons since, he has shown a ton of potential. As a rookie, Porter averaged 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game. Last season, his playing time and stats both jumped up in a major way. He appeared in 61 games (and started in 54 of them) for Denver and averaged 19.0 points. 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 31.3 minutes per performance. In the process, Porter established himself as a legitimate go-to guy on the offensive end for the Nuggets, and clearly a player that the team has extremely high hopes for. 

Porter’s ability to serve as a secondary scoring option alongside reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic will be especially important during the upcoming campaign, as Nuggets guard Jamal Murray continues to recover from the torn ACL that he suffered last season. 

This is the second major extension that the Nuggets have handed out this month. Two weeks ago, the team also agreed to a four-year, $92 million extension with forward Aaron Gordon after trading for him in March. Denver’s top four players — Jokic, Murray, Gordon and Porter — are now locked up for the new two seasons, at least. Jokic is next in line when it comes to an extension, as he’ll be eligible to sign a supermax next summer. 



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