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Shams: Nuggets and Jamal Murray begin contract extension talks as free agency opens

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The Nuggets want Jamal Murray around for a long time

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Jamal Murray’s agent, Mike George, and the Denver Nuggets have initiated talks on a contract extension.

Murray, 22, had a solid season as the starting point guard with the Nuggets this season, averaging 18.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.2 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per game. In the playoffs, Murray upped his performance, averaging 21.7 points and 4.7 assists per game as the second option behind superstar Nikola Jokic.

Murray’s efficiency took a slight hit as his role increased, but at 22 years old and displaying similar tendencies of scoring guards like a young Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard, the Nuggets are hoping Murray blossoms into a player of that caliber.

The next question is how much the Nuggets are willing to offer in extension talks. It’s unclear whether the Nuggets view him as a max level player, but Murray and his agent will be gunning for the max. According to salary cap projections of roughly $117 million for the 2020 season, the maximum Jamal Murray could receive in an extension is nearly $172 million across five years.

I doubt the Nuggets would commit to that number in extension talks and would likely seek a discounted number to come to an agreement before restricted free agency.

Whatever the Nuggets decide to do, it appears they are committed to the core they’ve assembled through the draft.