May 14, 2012, 10:42 AM EDT
Ty Lawson is at the heart of the Denver Nuggets’ future. That much was clear as the Nuggets played gutty, fun basketball and pushed the Lakers to seven games — Lawson averaged 19 points a game on 51.4 percent shooting and added 7 assists per game as the point guard.
After his fourth year in the NBA Lawson is now up for a contract extension and both sides want to work one out that keeps Lawson playing in the mile high city, reports the Denver Post.
Asked about possibly getting a contract extension from the Nuggets this summer, Lawson told The Denver Post: “It’s definitely a goal. I want to be here long term. I’m pretty sure my agent and Masai (Ujiri, the Nuggets’ executive vice president of basketball operations) will talk this summer.”
Asked Sunday about Lawson, Ujiri said: “He’s going to be a big part of the Denver Nuggets. We’re excited. Ty is going to grow even more. He made a little jump, and he’ll continue to make jumps as he gets older.”
Lawson will be back with the Nuggets either way, he either works out an extension or comes back for a fifth season then will try out the market as a restricted free agent next summer.
But if you’re committed to a guy and want to make him happy, you do the extension (they can talk about it after July 1). Denver has already done that with Danilo Gallinari (four-years, $42 million). I expect we’ll see the same here.
Lawson is not a max deal guy but he can get some long-term security and Denver can lock down Lawson for five years at what might be below market rate in a couple years (if Lawson keeps taking steps forward). While the numbers will be different, think of what Danny Ainge did in Boston locking down Rajon Rondo at a price he could no longer get.
Some work needs to be done to fill out the rest of the Nuggets roster if they are going to take the next steps forward, but Lawson will be part of that future.
JaVale McGee, on the other hand, is a restricted free agent this summer and it will be interesting to see what the market will bear for him.
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