PORTLAND – The Denver Nuggets are in talks with backup shooting guard Malik Beasley and his representatives about a contract extension with the Oct. 21 early extension deadline looming, according to a league source.
The Nuggets have less than two weeks to reach an extension with the fourth-year shooting guard or risk losing him in restricted free agency next summer. The same goes for Juancho Hernangomez, who is also in the Nuggets’ long-term plans.
Beasley turned down a 3-year, $30 million deal, according to a report from ESPN. A source confirmed an offer was made in that range.
Beasley switched agents on Sept. 23, going from Rich Gray to Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul, who also represents Los Angeles Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
For Beasley, the challenge on a deep Nuggets roster is whether he’ll be able to replicate last season’s production when he averaged 11.3 points on 40 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point line. As a starter, he averaged almost 16 points and shot 50 percent from long range in 18 games.
The Nuggets like Beasley’s potential and want to sign him. Whether he’d settle for a contract commensurate to last season’s production is another matter.
Players occasionally gamble and play out their fourth year in the hopes of commanding lucrative offer sheets from other teams. Beasley has a significant value around the league and could possibly warrant a deal in the $14-16 million dollar range if he has a strong season.
Former Nuggets forward Trey Lyles, also a Rich Paul client, was in a similar situation last season and opted to play without a deal in hand. His 3-point shooting plummeted throughout the season to 25 percent and he had fallen out of the rotation by the time the playoffs arrived. He signed with San Antonio for 2 years and $11 million this summer.
The Nuggets open their preseason Tuesday night in Portland, where Michael Porter Jr. will make his long-awaited debut.