VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
BOX/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Nuggets GM has busy offseason ahead

DENVER (AP) Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly says contract extensions for center Nikola Jokic and guard Will Barton are among his offseason priorities and he hinted coach Michael Malone might be in line for one, too.

Advertisement

The Nuggets have increased their win totals from 30 to 40 to 46 under Malone but they extended their playoff drought to five years when they lost in overtime at Minnesota in the season finale this week.

''This is the most confident I've been in our core group since I've been here,'' said Connelly, who's been in his post in Denver since 2013. ''I think we have the makings of a team that can enjoy sustainably high levels of success.

''I think there's going to be some pretty interesting financial decisions we'll make this offseason.''

Jokic was drafted in the second round in 2014 and signed a three-year, $4 million deal a year later. The Nuggets have a $1.6 million fourth-year option, which they can decline this summer and instead give Jokic a max contract.

While that would crimp their budget next season, it would keep their star away from free agency.

''He's a guy that's been tremendous in how quickly he's developed and a guy that we love and he loves Denver. So, the sooner we can get his signature on a long-term contract, the better,'' Connelly said Friday.

Connelly also lauded the versatile Barton's growth, and said, ''we hope we can get something done. He's our guy. We love him and I think if he's back in a Denver jersey, it's good for both him and the team.''

Malone has a year left on his original four-year deal he signed in 2015. Although he wouldn't commit to an extension for his coach this summer, Connelly made it clear how he feels about Malone and his staff, suggesting it would be foolhardy to view a 46-win season as a disappointment or a fire-able offense.

''I think Coach and his staff have done a wonderful job,'' Connelly said. ''We've got to continue to challenge each other. We've got to get better. This press conference is premature. We can't keep having it after the regular season.''

In praising Malone, Connelly cited his 16-game improvement over two years and the development of the team's core young players, emphasizing the difficulty in coaching a young team.

The Nuggets played better than any team in the West over the last dozen games and took a six-game winning streak into the season finale against the Timberwolves. That marked the first time in franchise history that the Nuggets had posted six straight wins against teams with winning records.

Yet, their inability to close out a seventh straight victory left them lamenting a dozen or so games they frittered away during a trying season in which free agent addition Paul Millsap missed 44 games and second-leading scorer Gary Harris missed 11.

''I thought 46 wins would have us firmly in the playoffs, in a pretty good spot,'' Connelly said. ''I'm certainly disappointed we didn't make it. ... But as I reflect on the season and the growth that we've shown, I'm unbelievably proud of our team.''

Yet, he's also running low on patience.

''I thought we had extended stretches of very good basketball. I think at times we had games that were inexcusable, and those games come back to haunt you,'' Connelly said.

Echoing Malone, Connelly said this season was never a ''playoffs-or-bust'' undertaking, but next season certainly will have that feel.

''I think we're there,'' Connelly said. ''How many times can you be the bridesmaid?''

---

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

---

Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
· Suns top Mavs in Nowitzki's return
· Magic hold off Bulls in Mexico City
· Spurs destroy reeling Clippers, 125-87
· Harden lifts Rockets past Lakers
· Heat to face a Grizzlies team strong on D
· Nets, Dinwiddie agree to extension
· Antetokounmpo hopes for more production
· Curry: Moon landing comment was joke
· Knicks sign Trier to guaranteed deal
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
6-0 L6, 21-8 L29 NBA Run
4-1 L2 Days, 18-4 Totals, +1,750
10-2 L12, 14-4 L18 Guarantees
3-0 Y'day, 30-15 L45, +1,645 TY
5-1 L4 Days, 8-3 L11 G-Plays
25-11 L36 Guaranteed Plays
4-0 L3 Days, 3-0 L3 G-Plays
7-2 L9 Picks, 8-2 L10 Totals
13-5 L18 Guaranteed Plays
6-3 Last 9 NBA Totals
6-2 L8, 9-3 L12 Selections
2-0 Thursday, 5-2 L7 G-Plays
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2018 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1843
Alex Smart + 1750
Doc's Sports + 1645
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 756
Joe Nelson + 600
Bruce Marshall + 343
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 64 %
Doc's Sports 60 %
Kyle Hunter 60 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 954
Scott Pritchard + 919
Matt Fargo + 831
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 1495
Scott Pritchard + 1089
John Fisher + 541
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 1244
Antony Dinero + 780
Jimmy Boyd + 622
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership