Nuggets, Lawson agree to 4-year deal
By Ben Golliver
The Nuggets continue to take care of their important contract business without a hiccup.
Nuggets guard Ty Lawson posted a message on Twitter Tuesday, indicating that he had agreed to a four-year contract extension with the team.
“Guess what,” Lawson wrote. “It Looks like I’m going to be a Nugget for another [four years] … Thanks to the [Kroenke] family, Masai, Nuggets fans and everybody [for] believing in me.”
The Nuggets and Lawson, who is entering the fourth and final season of his rookie deal, had until the Wednesday deadline to reach an extension, otherwise he would have proceeded to restricted free agency next summer.
This deal, at $12 million per year, represents the higher end of the expected spectrum for Lawson, but Denver didn’t overpay. Over the last two seasons, the Nuggets are 58-34 (.630) when he starts and he’s appeared in all but seven games during that time. Lawson, 24, has established himself as one of the better young point guards in the league, ranking ninth last season among all point guards in PER. A small but exceptionally quick floor general, Lawson guided the Nuggets (who played at the league’s second-fastest pace) to the No. 3 ranking in offensive efficiency last year.
A 2009 first-round pick acquired in a draft-day deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Lawson took over as the full-time starter under coach George Karl last season and averaged career-highs 16.4 points, 6.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
Last year, the Nuggets signed forward Danilo Gallinari to a four-year extension worth $42 million. Forward Wilson Chandler was also signed to a five-year deal worth $31 million in the spring. Over the summer, Denver inked center JaVale McGee to a four-year deal worth $44 million.
The agreement affords the Nuggets a clear measure of consistency over the next few years. Lawson, Gallinari, Chandler and McGee are all locked in for the foreseeable future, as are center Kosta Koufus and veteran guard Andre Miller. Forwards Kenneth Faried, Jordan Hamilton and Evan Fournier are all on rookie deals, too, locking them in until at least 2014-15. The only remaining question is forward Andre Iguodala, who has a player option worth $16.1 million for next season. Should he opt out, the Nuggets will be one negotiation away from retaining all their important rotation members.