The negotiations between Chris Andersen and the Nuggets have begun. Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentien is currently in Los Angeles, meeting with Andersen's representatives, notably Denver-based attorney Mark Bryant and agent Steve Huemann of the Los Angeles-based Creative Arts Agency.
Bryant said the goal is to try to get Andersen a five-year deal around the mid-level exception (in the $5 million range annually).
"I think that's possible. But we're a team player," Bryant said this morning. "We'll make the necessary adjustments if we can and find the right fit."
Andersen's attorney Mark Bryant is right about in line with the dollar amount I expected Andersen to command. I do find his quote to be telling and positive as the Nuggets might be able to back-load a deal a bit to make it more cap friendly.
But I do like how Warkentien and the Nuggets are not wasting any time securing Andersen and allowing for other teams (notably Houston, Portland, Dallas, and Memphis) to get any hope that the Birdman will fly anywhere but Denver next season. Once a verbal agreement is reached then the Nugget can move on and get to work on other priorities.
Here is another quote from Bryant that really makes you feel like the Nuggets are doing all the right things and it's good to hear a hometown favorite's representatives talk like this about your team:
"We really respect what's gone on in Denver," said Bryant, who pointed to the selling of the second-round draft pick as a clear sign that Denver is trying to gather money to pay Andersen. "We really love the management, we really love coach (George) Karl. And maybe on the top of the list is the town — that town loves this kid, and he loves them."