Ranking the 5 Nuggets starters' contracts from bargain to nightmare

Mar 9, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) reacts
Mar 9, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) reacts / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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As a team, the Denver Nuggets know exactly who they are. They’re the defending NBA champions, led by two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon. They rely heavily on their starting lineup which is intact for a second straight season, which also features Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Beyond that, the Nuggets have a lot of young unproven players and question marks. Each one of the Denver starters makes at least $14.7 million this season and is either under contract or has a player option for at least $15 million next season. No other player on the roster makes more than $5 million.

Of their $177,890,198 payroll for the 2023-24 season, the Nuggets have $151.8 million devoted to their five starters. This lineup helped the team win a championship last season and has them in a great position to compete for another one this season.

It’s hard to quibble with anything the Nuggets’ front office has done, or how they’ve spent their money and allocated their available assets. But just because they are the class of the NBA right now doesn’t mean everything is perfect.

And while they are in a great position to contend for a championship this year, they want to sustain that and build a dynastic team around Jokic that will be able to compete for championships for years as he ages.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the contracts of the five starters, rank them from best to worst, and analyze how they’ll age, and what their future with the Nuggets may look like.