Ty Lawson has signed a 4-year, $48 million extension with the Denver Nuggets. The deal eliminates a distraction that’s been hanging over the team and its star point guard for weeks.
A team spokesman said after the team’s arrival in Philadelphia that Lawson had signed his extension, the deal was worth $48 million.
Lawson averaged 16.4 points and almost 7 assists last season, his first as a starter. Since jumping from to the NBA in 2009 after leading North Carolina to the NCAA championship, he’s averaged 12 points and 4.8 assists.
”We felt Ty was prepared to take on a lot of responsibility last season and he demonstrated he could handle it,” team VP Masai Ujiri said in a statement. ”He is maturing as a leader on the court and in the locker room, so it was a easy decision for us to sign him to an extension.”
Lawson said recently the contract impasse was weighing on him, and coach George Karl lamented that the business of basketball was not the right energy to have in the days leading up to the regular season.
Without an agreement by Wednesday, Lawson would be eligible for restricted free agency next year, and another team might have front-loaded an offer that would have made it hard for Denver to match.
As importantly, without a new agreement, the star of the team would’ve been making $2.55 million this season, less than 8 of his teammates, including backup massive man JaVale McGee, who inked a deal in the offseason which will pay him some $10 million this season. Vegas odds
Now Lawson is the 2nd-highest paid player on the team behind Andre Iguodala, who will make about $14 million in 2012-13.
”This new agreement is a reflection of his hard work and dedication all though the past 3 seasons with our organization,” Nuggets president Josh Kroenke declared. ”Ty is a dynamic player, a wonderful person, and somebody we expect to lead us into the future.”
Karl has related Lawson must become even more consistent on the floor and embrace more of a leadership role like he probably did – on occasions – during Denver’s 7-game playoff loss to the Los Angeles Lakers last spring.
”I think most of leadership is your daily attitude, daily energy and daily approach. I’m not a big follower that leadership comes from your mouth. I think it comes from your actions,” Karl related. ”Ty is usually excellent at that when we get 5-on-5 oriented.
”Some of the other stuff, I believe Ty understands what he should do this year. I believe he’s ready. After Game One of the Laker series, he was one of the top 2 or 3 guys on the court in most of the games. That’s the kind of consistency we need him to bring every game. He’s got to understand it is an 82-game schedule and who you beat isn’t as significant as how many you win. Ty sometimes gets involved in the spotlight game, but not every game.”