Denver Nuggets make sizable investment with Monte Morris extension

The Denver Nuggets are making a sizable but smart investment in Monte Morris.

The Denver Nuggets have their backcourt of the future (at least for now) in Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. Thanks to an agreement struck on Monday, they’ve got an important depth piece locked in there too.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nuggets have agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract extension with backup point guard Monte Morris.

The Denver Post’s Mike Singer reports the extension, which will keep Morris in Denver through the 2023-24 season, has incentives that could reach up to $9.4 million per year.

The Denver Nuggets are committing to Monte Morris for the near future

With only one year and $1.7 million in salary remaining on his contract for the upcoming season, extending Morris was one of Denver’s top priorities for the offseason. He’s a well-liked teammate, a hard worker and one of the league’s most underrated backup guards, so even though $9 million a year seems like a lot to commit to a backup on the surface, it’s actually pretty fair market value.

Fred VanVleet was previously playing on a two-year, $18 million deal when he was still the Toronto Raptors’ backup, while Tyus Jones received a three-year, $26.4 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies as a restricted free agent. Those two relevant comparisons helped set the market for a deal that’s fair to both sides.

Considering Morris’ meager salary for the upcoming season and his output both as a reserve and a temporary starter, this is pretty good value.

Last year, the 25-year-old averaged 9.0 points and 3.5 assists in his 22.4 minutes per game, shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 37.8 percent from 3-point range. While his 3-point shooting dipped all the way to 30 percent in the postseason, Morris served an important bench role on both ends of the floor. He still has room to grow, and for a Western Conference contender, he’s certainly worth the investment.

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