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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Nikola Jokic, 5 years $270 million: Steal of the century

Calling Jokic’s contract a bargain is an epic understatement. He’s the best player in basketball by a wide margin. He’s the reigning finals MVP and is on pace to win his third regular season MVP award in four years.

He’s already an all-time great who has a chance to be considered a top 5-10 player in the history of the sport when all is said and done. Jokic is paid the maximum amount that was possible when he signed the deal, and still, he’s vastly underpaid.

There is almost no amount of money that would be equivalent value to what Jokic provides for the Nuggets. He’s the best and most important player in franchise history and he looks like he still has several prime years ahead of him. 

This run could extend for the life of his current contract and the Nuggets could find themselves trying to build the next great NBA dynasty. The Joker will make just over $59 million in the 2026-27 season, then has a player option for $62.8 million in 2027-28.

It’s impossible to say what Jokic or the Nuggets will look like that far down the road, but there’s a good chance that he’ll still be one of the very best players in the league. The dollar amounts seem astronomical, but as the salary cap continues to rise, this deal could actually look even more attractive as it ages.

Simply put, the Nuggets are remarkably lucky to have a player like Nikola Jokic, and they’d be happy to hand him a blank check and pay him any amount he wanted.