What would a Gallinari extension mean for the Nuggets?

The following tweet from Chris Tomasson got me really thinking about the future of the Nuggets:

Danilo Gallinari who wants to re-sign with Denver represented by Arn Tellem Wouldn't be surprised if they seek at least Nene money 5 yr 67m

So, if Gallinari does re-sign with the Nuggets for that projected figure, which in my opinion, isn't very unrealistic as Galo is without question more valuable to the Nuggets than Nenê is, especially going forward, where does that leave the Nuggets?

Courtesy of, here is a look at Denver's salaries for the foreseeable future:


As it stands, the Nuggets have ~$20.5 million each season committed to Nenê & Arron Afflalo for the next 4 years. (As I'm sure we all already knew)

If Gallinari is given an extension/re-signs with the Nuggets in the neighborhood of $13 million/year, give or take a few hundred thousand, that brings a total of ~$33 million each season committed to Nenê, Afflalo & Gallinari through the 2015-16 season.

Ty Lawson's contract comes up after next season, and he will probably be due for quite the payday. It would be foolish of the Nuggets to develop him into a great PG for 4 seasons only to let him walk. Lawson's worth in 2013 is all speculation right now, but let's just hypothetically say he lands somewhere between $10-$13 million/year.

For 3 seasons, 2013-14 through 2015-16, the Nuggets will presumably have ~$44 million each year locked up in 4 players--Nenê, Afflalo, Gallinari & Lawson. Toss in Harrington & Andersen's contracts (assuming neither is amnestied), and the total rises to ~$56 million between those 6 players for 2013-14, then down to ~$52 million in 2014-15 between the 5 (Nenê, Afflalo, Gallinari, Lawson & Harrington) after Andersen expires.

How do you feel about those figures as a Nuggets fan?

Those 4 players (Nenê, Afflalo, Gallinari & Lawson) currently take up ~$26 million, a projected $20 million less than they will in 2 seasons from now. The Nuggets front office has been able to put together a great, deep supporting cast around that core with their current figures--but what is going to happen when Gallinari & Lawson are off their rookie salaries?

It was part of the reason why I didn't like the Nenê signing this past summer. I love Nenê, but he is what he is. About 15 PPG & 8 RPG, extremely talented, but lacking an aggressiveness that could make him one of the best big men in the league. Was it really smart to lock him up for $13 million/year over 5 seasons? No.

Lawson & Gallinari were going to need to be paid soon. It was obvious.

The $44 million occupied by those 4 will not leave the Nuggets much wiggle room to fill out a supporting cast, which then brings up the question, how good will Lawson & Gallinari be? We already know what the 26-year old Afflalo and 29-year old Nenê are. The improvements of Lawson & Gallinari are even more crucial to the Nuggets' future than most of you may have thought.

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