Nikola Jokic, Nuggets Reportedly to Agree to 5-Year, $148M Contract Extension

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 127-124. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Denver Nuggets and center Nikola Jokic will reportedly agree to terms on a five-year, $148 max contract extension once free agency begins Sunday, according to ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Denver had declined its team option on the center for 2018-19, per Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, which would have been worth $1.6 million. This made him a restricted free agent this offseason instead of an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

The team took advantage of the opportunity to lock down its star player for the immediate future.

Jokic showed his importance to the Nuggets this past season, leading the team with 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. These were all career highs as well, along with his 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.

Although the 23-year-old is sometimes overlooked nationally with zero All-Star selections, the big man had one of the best seasons in the NBA in 2017-18. He finished the year eighth in the league with 10.7 win shares, per Basketball Reference, ahead of stars such as Kevin Durant, Paul George and DeMar DeRozan.

His value over replacement player was fifth in the NBA at 5.6, trailing only LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard.

This type of company makes him worthy of his lofty new contract.

As a 6'10" center who can pass, shoot and be a focal point of an offense, Jokic's production should only continue to rise in the coming years.

Considering he was just a second-round pick in the 2014 draft, he has been nothing short of a steal for the Nuggets.