Jamal Murray: Analyzing his Contract Extension
Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets has been one of the key focal points of the Denver Nuggets’ young core. With this in mind, Nuggets Nation was in fear during the NBA Finals when he was publicly cheering for the Toronto Raptors. Keep in mind, he is from Canada and grew up idolizing the Raptors. Could this have been a ploy to pressure the Nuggets into giving him a contract extension? We will never know, but it did work. On the first day of NBA Free Agency, Denver gave Murray a new five year, $170 million contract extension. However, could this hurt the Denver Nuggets in the long run?
The Risks of Paying Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray is one of the most exciting young players in the league, there is no doubt about that. However, giving a young player who still has a lot to prove $170 million still seems insane. This is the type of money you give Stephen Curry or Damian Lillard. Unless Jamal Murray is going to develop into an All-Star caliber player like Lillard, then President of Operations, Tim Connelly, overpaid in this instance.
This could have long term effects. Let’s put this into perspective, he is making more money than Nikola Jokic, the best player on the team. It will take away cap space for next year’s free agency which could mean Denver missing out on some potential All-Star free agents like Draymond Green. Not to mention, if Murray does not pan out for whatever reason, then they will have a difficult time trading him with this contract. However, Tim Connelly has done more good than bad during his time in the Mile High. For all we know, he knows something the average fan does not know.
The Benefits of Paying Murray
The Nuggets retain one of their most promising players. Murray is a career average 14.8 point per game scorer who is going to get better. Not to mention, he is a potent three-point shooter. Last season, he shot 36.7 percent from beyond the arc and 37 percent the year before. Murray is also evolving as a play-maker. Last season, he improved his assist average to nearly five per game (4.8).
He is an electric player and brings a much-needed antagonizing attitude to the Nuggets. Remember when he trolled Lonzo Ball? Or, when he waved goodbye to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope after pump faking him out against the Lakers? Whether you agree with these antics or not, this type of edge is needed on every team. Just look at Draymond Green’s value to the Golden State Warriors. Hopefully, the new contract Jamal Murray received will be a long term investment that pays off in the long run for Nuggets Nation.