Tim Connelly Rumors
The plan is to sign center Mason Plumlee to a new contract. Plumlee came to the Nuggets in a trade deadline deal with Portland. “Mase brought a lot of what we thought he would bring – intensity, a vertical threat at the rim,” Connelly said. “An athletic big. A very good passer. It’s not an easy transition going from a starter to the third or fourth big. … When we traded for him, we traded for him for the purpose of bringing him back. Barring something unforeseen or some dramatic shift, we’re pretty excited to talk to his representatives this summer and figure something out.”
Danilo Gallinari can opt out of his contract this summer. If he does, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. If that’s the case, Connelly said retaining Gallo’s services vaults to the top of the organization’s list of personnel priorities. “If he chooses to opt out,” Connelly said, “he’s certainly going to be one of our primary focuses.”
“We are always trying to make big trades,” Connelly said. “We have yet to see any of those things come to fruition, but I think what’s interesting about our team is we have a lot of good players. And I think relative to their contracts, most of our guys outperformed their contracts, which is a testament to our coaching and player development. They’ve all improved, even the older guys.”
Will that leave the Nuggets with enough financial flexibility to match what other teams in need of a high-scoring forward would be willing to pay for Gallinari? “The market will dictate a ton of that,” Nuggets manager Tim Connelly said. “But, certainly, Gallo and the organization have made no secret about how much they enjoy each other.”
“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.”