The Denver Nuggets finally get a chance to upgrade at power forward, as the NBA spending bonanza continues. Paul Millsap becomes the next major NBA free agent to land a huge payday.
According to Yahoo Sports, the Denver Nuggets have an agreement with Paul Millsap. The terms of the deal is a three-year contract, worth $90 million. Millsap will be joining an up and coming Nuggets team, who came close to making the postseason last April.
Paul Millsap decided on signing with the Denver Nuggets after visiting them over the weekend. According to the Star Tribune, Millsap was also on the radar of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves opted to go in a much more cost-efficient route by inking for Chicago Bulls’ power forward Taj Gibson to a two-year deal, worth $28 million, per Sports Illustrated.
While the Timberwolves opted for value and familiarity, Timberwolves’ head coach Tom Thibodeau coached Gibson with the Bulls, the Nuggets went for a more dynamic player.
Paul Millsap has a few NBA all-star appearances under his belt. He is the most heralded player to sign with the Denver Nuggets in quite a while. After several attempts at landing star players through either a trade or free agency, the Nuggets finally get their guy. But he comes with a few question marks.
In Paul Millsap, the Denver Nuggets get a versatile player who has a lot of tricks in his skill set. He will provide jump shooting, rebounding, and unselfishness. Millsap is a solid player across the board, but there are a couple of things that he does with great volume. Being too unselfish could be the reason.
Paul Millsap can make a big basket when his teams need one, but he does not take them as often as one would like. During his time with the Atlanta Hawk’s, Millsap would regularly pass the ball to a teammate, maintaining the flow of the offense, instead of taking over a ball game.
His $30 million a season payday he received from the Denver Nuggets will demand him to be a clutch player down the stretch. The Nuggets’ team he joins is young in terms of overall experience. The youthful Nuggets’ players will lean on him often when things go awry.
The other pause for the Nuggets’ deal with Millsap is the power forward’s age.
Paul Millsap is 32-years-old. He will be 35 in the last part of his contract with the Denver Nuggets.
With the Golden State Warriors expected to maintain their dominance for the next few seasons, the Nuggets are not a championship contender with Millsap. They may have to settle for being a perennial playoff team. With the money invested in the former Atlanta Hawk, and facing future contract extensions for Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, the salary cap will be an issue in two years.
The final question regarding the Denver Nuggets signing of Paul Millsap is the potential of a crowded frontcourt.
Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee are the possible starters at power forward and center respectively. Finding a true fit for Paul Millsap might become dicey. Fortunately, Millsap’s ability to play on the perimeter will allow him to get some minutes at small forward.
Overall, Paul Millsap was a solid signing for the Denver Nuggets, given the position they are in. He is not the complete answer to the Nuggets’ championship puzzle, but he could be the one who helps them take another step forward.
[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]