Panic meter: Why hasn't Jamal Murray signed an extension with the Nuggets yet?

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game Seven
Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game Seven / C. Morgan Engel/GettyImages

With all the doom and gloom surrounding the Kentavious Caldwell-Pope situation and so much attention focused on the NBA draft, it was easy to lose sight of some other large Nuggets news that came out around the same time. On June 27th, Shams Charania of the Athletic reported that the Nuggets and Jamal Murray were negotiating a four-year, $209 million max contract extension and that an agreement was expected.

Well, it’s been almost two weeks since that initial report and it’s been crickets ever since. Multiple NBA media members have mentioned the fact that the deal still hasn’t gotten done and noted to keep an eye on it from Zach Lowe to Brian Windhorst and with every day that passes, things get a little murkier.

Nuggets yet to offer Murray fully guaranteed 4-year max

Now, Ryan Blackburn of Mile High Sports has reported that the Nuggets have offered Murray “the framework” of a max extension, but not fully guaranteed. That could mean anything from an incentive-laden contract to team options and partial guarantees in the later years, but one thing is clear, the Nuggets want to protect themselves before opening up the checkbook.

It’s understandable given Murray’s extensive injury history and sometimes inconsistent play. At the same time, it’s completely understandable that Murray and his camp want nothing less than a fully guaranteed max deal.

With Murray and Team Canada set to depart for the Paris Olympics later this month, it seems like this contract negotiation may drag on all summer - and perhaps even beyond. What felt like a formality as recently as a week ago now seems like an incredibly uncertain and tense situation.

Nuggets could be headed for disaster situation with Murray

Losing KCP and Bruce Brown to preserve financial flexibility is one thing, but if Murray enters the final year of his current contract without an extension that would be a major red flag. At that point, you’d have to consider everything on the table, including a Murray trade or even a doomsday scenario of him leaving in free agency for nothing.

It’s not time to panic just yet, and there’s still a chance this deal will get ironed out in the coming weeks or even days. But it has definitely become something to keep a close eye on and something for Nuggets fans to legitimately start to worry about.