Denver Nuggets pick up Paul Millsap’s 2019-20 option
The Denver Nuggets announced on Saturday that they’ve picked up the team option in Paul Millsap’s contract for the 2019-20 season. The upcoming campaign will be Millsap’s third with the Nuggets, as he originally signed with the team during 2017 free agency.
After missing 44 games due to a wrist injury in his first season in Denver, Millsap bounced back during the 2018-19 season, as he appeared in 70 contests. He averaged 12.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in 27.1 minutes per game. In the playoffs, Millsap proved crucial to the Nuggets’ young squad, averaging 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while serving as a veteran leader.
Millsap can be credited for a large portion of Denver’s improvement on the defensive end this past season. The Nuggets jumped from 23rd to 10th in the league defensively, and a key reason was the 34-year-old’s consistent presence on the court. In fact, when Millsap was on the floor, Denver had a 107.3 defensive rating, which would have ranked eighth in the league over the course of an entire season. When he sat, the defensive rating dropped to 111.9, which would have ranked 22nd in the league.
"From how I want to do it and how I want my story to be told, this is definitely the group that can help me do it (win a title),” Millsap said during his exit interview in May. “It's been a dream and goal of mine. I see the drive in these guys to get better. I feel comfortable with that."
With Millsap officially under contract for next season, the Nuggets will have another year with their veteran leader. Millsap has the ability to take advantage of mismatches on offense and anchor the team’s defense. Moving forward, the Nuggets will continue to have financial flexibility ahead of the 2020-21 season.