But that was while Jokic was fortifying his case to repeat as MVP during the regular season.
Now that Denver has gotten eliminated in the first round, how does everyone feel about each other?
The Nuggets are expected to offer him a five-year supermax extension
“I would like it, of course, but it’s not something that I’m deciding,” said Jokic, who is likely to win his second consecutive MVP award sometime soon. “I think of course if it’s offered — if (the) offer is on the table — of course I’m going to accept it because I really like the organization and really like the people who work here.”
“I’m in (a) really good relationship with people who work here, and a good relationship with everybody from the owner to, let’s say, the equipment manager,” he continued. “I think we have something that we’re building. It actually feels really good.”
Jokic’s five-year extension projects to be worth between $255 million and $273 million.* The exact amount would be determined in the 2023 offseason, when the extension would kick in. Regardless of the precise value, it’d be the largest deal in NBA history.
Mostly because of Jokic.
He’s the best passing center of all-time, a highly skilled scorer and improved – though sometimes still exploitable – defender. Though many super-max extensions have soured, Jokic is just 27 and has a strong track record of growth.
Now, the latest – and largest – bill comes due for making Jokic their franchise player.
For a seemingly rare superstar happy with his team, Denver will gladly pay up and be thrilled he’ll accept.
*The projected range is based on the salary cap increasing to $122 million next season, as the NBA projects. By rule, the salary cap will increase 3%-10% from 2022-23 to 2023-24.