NBA rumors: Nikola Jokic set to sign supermax contract extension with Nuggets

After Jokic publicly stated his desire to sign the extension late last month, sources say the 27-year-old has reiterated his long-term commitment to the franchise this week and made clear his belief in the organization’s future in the wake of Connelly’s exit. Multiple sources tell The Athletic that when the Nuggets offer Jokic the five-year, $260 million supermax deal in July, the All-NBA center plans to sign the contract.

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Jokic’s brothers, Strahinja and Nemanja, met with Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth and assistant GM Tommy Balcetis in recent days to discuss the team’s future. All sides, sources say, left the meeting aligned in their vision. For the new Nuggets regime, it was important to spend time with the Jokic family in person stateside in the aftermath of Connelly’s departure. Booth and coach Michael Malone have also spoken to Nikola Jokic over the phone, as the big man remains on his annual offseason respite in Serbia. Both sides reaffirmed their long-term commitment to the partnership in that conversation.
Yet while the Nuggets are expected to move forward with their core of Jokic, Murray and Porter, sources say this Booth-led front office plans on being aggressive when it comes to improving the roster around them. The focus, sources say, is on adding the kind of long and versatile defensive-minded players who are on display in the Boston–Miami Eastern Conference finals. If that means discussing the team’s draft assets as a way of upgrading the level of win-now talent, sources say, then there will be an openness to doing just that.
Nikola Jokic became supermax eligible last season by virtue of winning his first MVP award. He will finally be able to sign it this offseason once he gets seven years of service on his belt. It is projected at $260 million over five years and would pay him $59.1 million in the 2027-28 season. His agent has already confirmed that Jokic plans on signing the extension this offseason.
Nikola Jokic's agent Misko Raznatovic confirmed that his client is expected to sign a supermax extension with the Denver Nuggets in 2022 NBA free agency. "According to our expectations, it should be signed this summer. The extension of the maximum amount, what he obviously deserved," Raznatovic said on the URBONUS podcast. Jokic became eligible for a supermax contract in 2022 or 2023 after winning the MVP award last summer. Per Bobby Marks of ESPN, Jokic's supermax extension in 2022 is projected to be the largest contract in NBA history, a total of $241M (based on a salary cap of $121.5M).
The last time Jokic signed a 5-year, $148M extension with Nuggets in 2018, he just exchanged emails with his agent. This time, if everything goes according to plan, Misko Raznatovic would like to organize a big party. "Luka Doncic organized a nice party for his last contract that put some kind of challenge primarily for me because I am very well known for organizing parties and participating in social life," Raznatovic smiled. "But knowing Nikola, probably nothing will happen, and everything will be the same. Just one piece of paper to be signed."
Because Jokic was named MVP, he is eligible to sign the supermax in 2022, when he'll have one year left on his existing deal, or in 2023, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. LaVine, Booker and Towns are not quite as fortunate as Jokic. While their situations differ slightly -- Booker and Towns are not free agents in 2022, while LaVine is -- all three are supermax eligible, in either an extension or regular contract, if they earn All-NBA honors this season (or win MVP).
By earning MVP honors, Jokic has qualified for a supermax extension, which would be the largest in NBA history. However, because Jokic has only six years of service, the center will need to wait until the 2022 offseason to sign the five-year $241 million extension. The rules of the supermax stipulate that only players with seven or eight years of service are eligible to sign the extension. Here is a breakdown of what the max extension projects to be based on a $121.5 million salary cap. 2023-24: $42.6M 2024-25: $44.9M 2025-26: $48.2M 2026-27: $51.5M 2027-28: $54.8M
Bobby Marks: By virtue of winning MVP, Nikola Jokic is now eligible to sign a super max contract in either the 2022 or 2023 offseason. Jokic is not eligible this offseason because he is 1 year shy of the years of service criteria of 7.
Bobby Marks: The Nikola Jokic super max extension in 2022 is projected to be the largest contract in NBA history. *2023-24: $42.6M 2024-25: $44.9M 2025-26: $48.2M 2026-27: $51.5M 2027-28: $54.8M Total of $241M *Based on a salary cap of $121.5M
Chris Dempsey: Today is the day the Nikola Jokic contract saga officially gets rolling. This is the deadline day for his team option to be declined, which allows the #Nuggets to extending a qualifying offer & make him a restricted free agent. Then extension talks will take over.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic won’t join the Serbian national team in the June-July World Cup Qualifiers games because of his contract situation. Jokic revealed that Serbia head coach Sasa Djordjevic had already excluded him from his roster plans for the above reason. After all, the Nuggets could make Serbian center an unrestricted agent this summer and potentially offer him a max contract extension. “I talked to Sale [Sasa Djordjevic]. He told me he wasn’t planning on me. He knows what my contract situation is, so he doesn’t make his plans with me,” Jokic said to journalists during the Serbian League game between his former team Mega Leks and Partizan Belgrade, per Sport Klub. “We will see for the deal. When it comes to the new contract, nothing will be known until July 7.”
Nick Kosmider: Nikola Jokic’s agent says picking up the player’s option and letting Jokic become an unrestricted free agent in 2019 would be an unfavorable scenario for Nuggets. This is not a warning. It’s common sense. Denver won’t pass up the chance to lock Jokic up. Writing is on the wall.
Chris Dempsey: Word out of #Nuggets all along was they expected to get this deal done in Oct. Now, should be quiet unti next summer’s biggie: Nikola Jokic
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June 26, 2022 | 6:52 am EDT Update

Kevin Durant has not spoken with the Nets in weeks?

Not much of Murdock’s take was optimistic if you’re a Nets fan. Indeed, he referred to the franchise’s current situation as “destruction” in the podcast and suggested perhaps more firmly than other pundits that Durant could indeed leave. “The vision is on the verge of crumbling,” he wrote. “It didn’t have to be this way,” he said, summing up. “This team … and it’s ironic. Kevin came to reconcile relationships, build relationships with his BFF’s and it’s not working out. It’s doing the exact opposite. And you juxtapose that with Golden State winning…” “Now, you have reports that Kyrie is looking elsewhere. I made some calls. Kevin Durant has not talked to the team in weeks. I don’t think Kevin is confident in the front office right now. I don’t know if he’s at the stage of leaving but there’s a big uneasiness from not only from the Kyrie side, but the KD side as well.”
At the center of it, Murdock pointed out multiple times is the Nets relationship with Irving. “His biggest beef is that he feels that the front office didn’t grow to understand Kyrie, whatever that means. I would push back on that when a guy leaves for two weeks at a time … Kyrie earns the lion’s share of the blame. But I think KD believes that ‘hey, you guys didn’t understand this guy. You didn’t try to figure out where he was coming from.’”
Still, Durant believes the Nets didn’t support Irving particularly when they decided not to play him at all in October, after he refused to get vaccinated like all but a handful of NBA players, then brought him back in October. “That’s just how he feels. ‘Hey man, I brought this guy in, him and Kyrie, and the front office didn’t do enough to support him at a time when we needed to support him.”
Moreover, Murdock pointed to the Nets decision to dump Adam Harrington, their long-time assistant coach and director of development, as a big negative for KD. Durant and Harrington go back to KD’s time in Oklahoma City when Harrington was his shooting coach. “And here’s another thing, KOC, the Nets got rid of Adam Harrington. who’s very close to Kevin. He’s one of Kevin’s guys. And that had a big ripple effect on how Kevin feels about this right now. He’s still in this figure-it-out mode but there is some fire to that smoke that he’s kind of reevaluating where he stands with this.”
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving won a ring together before, and it may not have been their last … ’cause Matt Barnes tells TMZ Sports the Lakers could be smelling champagne if Kyrie Irving joins L.A. Matt — who played for the Purple and Gold for two seasons — spoke about the recent Irving rumors out at LAX this week … and he told us if Uncle Drew ends up with the Lakers, it could result in the franchise’s 18th championship.

Hawks interested in Deandre Ayton, but wouldn't pay max money

The Hawks could still pursue Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton in free agency. Sources tell The Athletic that the Hawks’ interest in the 23-year-old would be contingent on landing him for less than a max contract. That may not be an option, as the Pistons, who have the cap space for a max contract, are expected to be aggressive in their pursuit of Ayton in free agency.