By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst
POSTED: Oct 30, 2012 2:59 AM ET
The Denver Nuggets are getting closer to making a deal with guard Ty Lawson on a contract extension before Wednesday's deadline for 2009 Draft picks, according to a league source.
There is not a deal in place, but with the clock ticking, hopes are increasing that a deal can be made. The Nuggets and Lawson have been working on an extension for the past few weeks, and the fourth-year guard has been one of the few members of his Draft class that was given a decent chance to get something done. Lawson, who will turn 25 later this week, has become one of the league's most dynamic point guards. He averaged 16.4 points and 6.6 assists last season, and his PER of 19.43 rated ninth among point guards. With Lawson pushing the ball, Denver became a lethal transition team and the Nuggets have hopes they can be even more efficient after acquiring forward Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia in August as part of the four-team trade that sent center Andrew Bynum from the Lakers to the 76ers.
Lawson turned down a four-year offer worth $45 million earlier this month, according to league sources, which would have made him one of the highest paid point guards in the league. Deron Williams (five years, $98 million), Derrick Rose (five years, $94 million) and Russell Westbrook (five years, $80 million) are all starting new extensions this season, while the Clippers' Chris Paul ($17.7 million) is in line to get a similar max contract next summer. The next-highest group is led by Boston's Rajon Rondo, who is entering the third year of his five-year, $55 million extension.
If a deal cannot be reached, Lawson would become a restricted free agent next summer and be able to sign offer sheets from other teams. The Nuggets would have three days to match any offer from another team.