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Nuggets sign Jamal Murray to contract extension
DENVER — The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Jamal Murray to a five-year contract extension, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced Wednesday.
Murray, 22, had the best season of his young career in 2018-19, helping lead Denver to 54 games wins and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. In 75 games (74 starts), he averaged career-highs in points (18.2), assists (4.8) and rebounds (4.2) while shooting 43.7 percent from the field, 36.7% percent from 3-point range and 84.8 percent from the free-throw line. Murray posted a career-high 48 points vs. the Boston Celtics on Nov. 5, and on Dec. 29 at Phoenix he became the first player in Nuggets history to record 46+ points, 6+ rebounds and 8+ assists on the road. Murray also became the fourth player in franchise history to eclipse 3,500 points through his first three seasons (Kiki VanDeWeghe, David Thompson, Carmelo Anthony).
“It’s an exciting day for our franchise to officially announce this contract extension with Jamal,” said President and Governor Josh Kroenke. “My father and I know what kind of kid Jamal is both on and off the court, and there wasn’t a second of hesitation to get this done as soon as we could. He is an extremely talented player and we look forward to watching him continue to grow as one of the cornerstones of this team for many years to come.”
“The Kroenke family has shown tremendous commitment to continuity and stability, and this is just another example of trusting in what we are all building together as an organization,” stated President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. “We were thrilled when we were able to draft Jamal in 2016 because we believed then, as we do now, that he is an extraordinary player and a key part of what we want to accomplish here in Denver. Jamal has shown what he is capable of in his first three seasons in the NBA, particularly in last year’s playoff run, and his future is extremely bright.”
FOR THE LONG HAUL
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) July 24, 2019
The Kitchener, Ontario, native appeared in his first postseason in 2019 helping the Nuggets reach the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. Murray elevated his game, averaging, 21.3 points, 4.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 90.3 percent from the charity stripe in 36.3 minutes per game. He posted eight games of 20 or more points, including 34 points in back-to-back games in the second round vs. Portland. Murray became just the eighth player in NBA history to post 290+ points and 20+ three point makes in his first postseason appearance. He is also just the fifth player since 2008 to average 21+ points, 4+ rebounds and 4+ assists in a first-time playoff run.
“First I’d like to say congratulations to Jamal, I couldn’t be happier for him and his family,” said Head Coach Michael Malone. “He is a special young man who I’ve been lucky to coach since he was a rookie and I look forward to many more years together. Jamal has put in the time and hard work from day one and I have zero doubt he will continue to do so with the intense drive of becoming the best basketball player he possibly can and helping lead the Nuggets to our ultimate goal, an NBA Championship.”
Murray was drafted by the Nuggets with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. Over three seasons with Denver, he has appeared in 238 games (164 starts), averaging 14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 36.2 percent from long range in 28.5 minutes per game. He has increased his scoring, rebounding and assist average each season of his career. Additionally, the Nuggets own a record of 42-22 (.656) when Murray scores at least 20 points throughout his career.
“I want to thank the man above for showing my family and I how life works in a full circle,” said Jamal Murray. “I also want to thank the Nuggets organization for believing in a kid from a small unheard-of town in Canada, and finally to Nuggets fans, I can’t wait to shoot more arrows for you all.”