Thursday was Signing Day for Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris. But this was no college commitment. This was a signature on his newest contract, keeping him with the Nuggets for the foreseeable future. “I’m happy, I’m excited,” Harris said. “I finally got it signed, all set, ready to go, four more years. Love the team, love the organization, love the city. So I couldn’t be happier.”
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“He’s really emblematic of the program we’re trying to build,” president of basketball operations, Tim Connelly, said. “He came in as kind of a scrawny 19-year old, struggled his first year, continued to work on his craft, got better and better, was given opportunities and ran with them. Never deviated from his desire to be here.”
“It’s a business,” Harris said. “I couldn’t look into it too much. I just had to be professional about everything I did. Everything ended up working out. I really didn’t think too much about it. I’m happy where I’m at. It was a crazy summer, but fall is here and it’s time to get started.”
Bobby Marks: Cap hit for the Gary Harris rookie extension in 2018-19 is $16.5M. Harris will have a salary of $17.8M, $19.2M and $20.5M in the following three seasons. Harris also has $2.5M of unlikely bonuses per year.
Harris’ agents with CAA Sports, Austin Brown and Aaron Mintz, completed the deal on Saturday night with Denver president of basketball operations Tim Connelly. Harris, 23, is eligible for his rookie extension as part of the NBA’s 2014 draft class. There’s an Oct. 16 deadline for players to agree to a deal, or proceed into restricted free agency in July.
Bobby Marks: The Gary Harris extension now has Denver with $113M in guaranteed salary next year. The Nuggets could be a tax team in 2018-19.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris has reached agreement on a four-year, $84 million contract extension, league sources told ESPN.
Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas told The Denver Post on Thursday afternoon that a contract extension with starting shooting guard Gary Harris is “in the works” and that he hopes the organization and Harris “can get something done before the season starts.”
“He’s been such a huge part of what we’re trying to do here, a representation of what we’re building here,” Karnisovas said of Harris during a visit to The Denver Post’s newsroom. “Him going through trade rumors and still staying with us and being consistent and being a good leader for our guys and (knowing) how to do it, he was the ultimate professional.”
Matt Moore: Source close to situation says Nuggets are very close to extension with guard Gary Harris, expectation is it will get done before deadline.
Oct. 16 — the day before the start of the regular season — is the last day that eligible players can sign rookie extensions. If Harris’ camp and the Nuggets don’t come to an agreement by then, the 23-year-old will hit restricted free agency next summer. If Harris signs an offer sheet with another team in restricted free agency next year, Denver would have 72 hours to match and retain his services. “No, (it’s not on my mind),” Harris said of the extension. “I’m just ready to get ready for camp, ready to get rolling, especially with the squad we have it’s going to be a fun year.”
“I still don’t think the league appreciates how good he is and how young he is,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said. But Connelly and the Nuggets do. That’s why the Nuggets will open discussions on a lucrative contract extension for Harris this summer. “Gary’s going to be here for a long, long time,” Connelly said.
Harris is in the third year of his rookie scale contract, which, according to the collective bargaining agreement, is paying him $3,968,800 for the first three years and is scheduled to be $2,125,046 for the fourth year, which is a team option year. The two sides have until Oct. 31 to agree to an extension. “He’s a guy that kind of embodies everything that we’re trying to be, both as a player and as a person,” Connelly said. “Whether it’s this summer or whether it’s the following summer, he’s going to be here for a very long time.”
“I use Gary as both a cautionary tale with our staff and also kind of a symbol of success for our young guys,” Connelly said. “Gary had an awful rookie year; up and down minutes, horrific shooting for a two-guard. But I told him this: My gut tells me you’re going to be a really good player. You’re a good kid, you work hard, you’re extremely athletic. I joke with him, you had like no dunks at Michigan State and now he dunks all the time.”
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December 14, 2017 | 7:11 pm EST Update
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