Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson will become a restricted free agent next summer unless he signs a contract extension with the Nuggets prior to Oct. 31.
Lawson has said since the season ended that he thinks both sides will agree on an extension.
“I’m still confident,” Lawson said to HOOPSWORLD. “My agent is working with Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke so I feel like in the next couple of weeks something will get done. We’ll see.”
According to sources close to the situation, the Nuggets’ current offer is in the neighborhood of $44 million over four years, which is just south of what it will likely take to get a deal done before free agency. The 2013 free agency class isn’t going to be overflowing with starting-caliber point guards like Lawson. On the open market, he could very easily receive an offer in the $12-13 million range per year.
So, while the Nuggets may need to up their offer a bit, the two sides do appear to be close enough to where an agreement can be made before the deadline.
A max offer sheet would be a 4-year, $58 million deal. So Lawson is clearly pretty far off from getting that.
Lawson averaged 16.4 points and 6.6 assists per game in 34.8 minutes per game for the Nuggets last season. Those are great numbers but with the league being as deep as it’s ever been at the point guard position, perhaps that is why Lawson isn’t in the max-contract ballpark.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden on the other hand is. Harden is already one of the five best shooting guards in the league and will without question receive a max offer sheet next summer if a restricted free agent.
The Thunder also have until Oct. 31 to reach a deal with Harden and it seems less likely that they will than Lawson and Denver.