The Denver Nuggets own one of the strongest rosters in the NBA, and they are currently fighting for their first ever NBA Finals appearance. But their roster is aging, and the team is in need of young talent to supplement what they have on the roster. If the Nuggets can adequately draft and develop their young talent, they will be able to contend again within the next two seasons.
In the month of April, the Denver Nuggets took a calculated gamble that put them in a strong position for a playoff run. They signed their best player, leading scorer, and one of the top three scorers from the entire NBA, Paul Millsap. The move for the Nuggets was made with the best intentions of getting them back into the playoffs; the Nuggets are on the outside looking in, and this is their last chance to make the postseason. If they fall flat, then the Nuggets may end up on the market come the summer.
The Nuggets are in the midst of the most successful era in franchise history. Since the turn of the century, they’ve gone through several changes, but most of them have been for the better. The last couple of years have been the most exciting in Nuggets history, with the bright future of the young core, the emergence of Nikola Jokic, the emergence of Donatas Motiejunas, the emergence of Gary Harris.
This summer, the Denver Nuggets have a chance to cement their position as perennial Western Conference contenders, but doing so would require a risky investment in Michael Porter Jr.
Nikola Jokic, the reigning league MVP, and point guard Jamal Murray form the nucleus of the Nuggets’ squad. They need to include MPJ in that foundation, but due to his previous injury problems, they may have to negotiate over the price.
Michael Porter Jr. is eligible for a $163 million, five-year contract extension.
Michael Porter Jr. is one of the NBA’s most promising young players.
Porter had glimpses of brilliance during his first season in 2019-20, particularly in the Orlando bubble. In the playoffs, he experienced a substantial increase in minutes, averaging 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds. His ascension helped the Nuggets reach the conference finals, when they were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers.
This past season, the 23-year-old made a huge stride forward. During the regular season, Porter averaged 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds. However, statistics only reveal half of the picture. Porter showed tremendous promise as a shot creator and athletic stretch-4, hitting 44.5 percent from three-point range on 6.3 tries per game.
Such a quantum jump would appear to ensure that the Nuggets would invest in Porter in the future. Given Porter’s previous injury history, which goes back to his lost season at Missouri, the two parties may squabble about the monetary number.
The Nuggets are concerned about MPJ’s injury record.
Last week, I inquired about the status of negotiations on a possible rookie extension with MPJ:
“Everything seems fantastic, and it’s in the path I’d want to go,” he added. “Nothing is fixed in stone,” says the narrator, “but everything is going swimmingly.”
@denverposthttps://t.co/1o8Y2hyVI5 has a lot more from our conversation.
September 5, 2021 — Mike Singer (@msinger)
Michael Porter Jr., for one, seems unconcerned about the progress of his contract talks.
Porter has until the start of the season to sign a rookie deal with the Nuggets. Although time is running short, the 2018 first-round pick told Mike Singer of The Denver Post that he is certain that things will work out well.
Porter told Singer, “Everything is sounding fantastic, in the direction that I’d want to be going.” “Nothing is fixed in stone, but as far as that is concerned, everything is going swimmingly.
“One thing about Mark [Bartelstein] – something might have been done earlier, but Mark is the greatest in the business,” Porter said. “I urged him to take his time and do his thing.’ I’m not in a hurry; I’m in grind mode. I’m not bothered by it. I’m just getting out of the gym, and if you have any news for me, please contact me.’
But, realistically, the Nuggets would have already signed Porter to a contract extension if it hadn’t been for health concerns.
Porter was one of the country’s best prep prospects before choosing to attend Missouri. However, due to back surgery, he was unable to participate in his rookie season. Porter was forced to miss the whole 2018-19 season due to the injury. Back and core problems have been a major worry, but he also had an ankle injury in the 2019-20 season.
Unfortunately, the Nuggets aren’t overjoyed with the prospect of spending so much money on Porter, who has already had a slew of problems in his short career. Denver, on the other hand, cannot afford to let him go free.
Denver has put its trust in Porter before, and it will have to do so again.
By extending Michael Porter Jr., the Nuggets can strengthen their roster, but the decision comes with some risk | Getty Images/Dustin Bradford
To be honest, the Nuggets are very lucky to even have this issue.
Porter was projected to be the No. 1 selection in the 2018 NBA Draft before he ever played for the Tigers. However, further back problems and pre-draft worries about his back health caused him to drop to the No. 14 selection.
Denver took a risk on Porter, despite the fact that the team knew he might miss the whole 2018-19 season. Three years later, the kid has repaid the Nuggets for their confidence by achieving incredible heights.
The roster for the Nuggets is in great condition. They have a probable All-Star in Murray and an MVP in Jokic, as well as plenty of depth in the backcourt and on the wings. Porter has the potential to be the third star that helps Denver stay up with the West’s stacked teams. Furthermore, re-signing Porter almost assures the Nuggets’ status as a top contender for the foreseeable future.
It’s conceivable that talks will last until the start of training camp. However, as they battle for position in the Western Conference, the Nuggets must make a strong commitment to Porter.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
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