Nikola Jokic left little doubt as to what he would do in the event the Nuggets presented him with a five-year, $264 million supermax extension – the largest contract in NBA history, for now.
“I think, of course, if offer is on the table, of course I’m going to accept it because I really like the organization, I really like the people who work here,” Jokic said after the Nuggets fell in five games to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of this year’s playoffs. “I’m in really good relationship with everybody from owner to equipment manager.”
At the start of free agency on Thursday, Jokic reaffirmed that commitment, verbally agreeing to stay in Denver, a source confirmed to The Denver Post.
The fifth year of that extension will be a player option, a source told The Post.
Internally, there was significant confidence he would agree to the deal, even after former Nuggets president Tim Connelly left for Minnesota.
With one year left on his current deal, Jokic pledged to stay in Denver through the 2027-2028 season. An extension can’t become official until July 6.
It is, by far, the most significant news of the Nuggets’ offseason because it signifies they’ll be competitive as long as Jokic remains healthy. Without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. this past season, Jokic still managed to drag the Nuggets into the postseason.
The hope is, with Calvin Booth running the organization, to maximize Jokic’s peak years. Thursday’s commitment provides the backbone for years of contention. Jokic’s commitment, like Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, Tim Duncan in San Antonio and the late Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, breathes more life into the idea that Jokic will spend his entire career in Denver.
On a day when arguably the biggest superstar in the NBA – Kevin Durant – requested a trade from the home he’d picked in free agency, Jokic’s belief in seeing through what he started in Denver should be celebrated. It should also, justifiably, maintain pressure on Booth, head coach Michael Malone and Denver’s ownership to do everything they can, collectively, to win.
Jokic’s future involvement mandates that they try.