“I still don’t think the league appreciates how good [Gary Harris] is and how young he is,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said.
But Connelly and the Nuggets do. That’s why the Nuggets will open discussions on a lucrative contract extension for Harris this summer.
“Gary’s going to be here for a long, long time,” Connelly said.
Harris is wrapping up his third NBA season, in which he’s averaged 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.9 assists, while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line in just 57 games. After dealing with injuries throughout the first third of the season, Harris improved his play across the board, posting career highs in points (28), assists (9), and rebounds (8) during the year. The 22-year-old from Michigan State continues to improve his overall performance as he plays more and more. The Nuggets are clearly happy with his development, with Connelly calling him “a symbol of success for our young guys” in Dempsey’s article.
Along with Nikola Jokic, Harris is a reason for the Nuggets to call the 2016-17 season a success. Both have shown tremendous growth, and while each player possesses deficiencies, both Jokic and Harris are 22 years old, leaving time for improvement.
The only question, of course, is the amount of money Harris and the Nuggets are willing to agree upon for an extension. Some recent extensions and signings of young shooting guards above and below Harris’ level include:
- C.J. McCollum: 4 years, $106 million
- Victor Oladipo: 4 years, $84 million
- Bradley Beal: 5 years, $128 million
- Evan Fournier: 5 years, $85 million
- Kent Bazemore: 4 years, $70 million
- Allen Crabbe: 4 years, $75 million
Based on the above contract numbers, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Harris and his agent to ask for at least $20 million annually, potentially rising as high as $25 million. Because of this, I would expect both sides to settle on a 4 year, $90 million extension. This may seem like a lot, but for a player who has showed continuous growth throughout the year, the Nuggets would be paying for what Harris brings to the table currently, as well as what he may offer over the length of the contract.
Time will tell whether Harris and the Nuggets can come to terms on a deal, but based on what he has shown thus far, the best is yet to come for the 22-year-old.
Should the Nuggets sign Gary Harris to a contract extension?
This poll is closed
Yes, whatever it takes.
Yes, but at a fair price to the Nuggets.
No, they should wait until free agency.
No, the Nuggets have other shooting guards.