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Nuggets will decline Nikola Jokic’s option, make him restricted free agent

The Denver Nuggets will decline Nikola Jokic’s player option, making him a restricted free agent.

As reported by Gina Mizell of The Denver Post, the move by the Nuggets will pave the way for a max deal for Jokic:

After stealing Michael Porter Jr. in the draft, the Nuggets’ focus seems to be on Jokic moving forward. The 23-year-old Serbian has steadily risen an the team’s star player. Drafted the 41st overall in 2014, Jokic — in three seasons with the Nuggets — has logged in 14.9 points per game, 9.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists. He has also shot 53 percent from the field.

Tim Connely, Nuggets president of basketball operations, said that they intend to make Jokic stay for a long time. He even said that the Serbian will be buying a house soon. Following the NBA draft last Thursday, Connely said that they’ll talk with him soon:

“Nikola’s going to be here for a long, long time. I think whatever we do, we’re going to ensure he’s here as long as possible. When that moment happens, we’re going to talk to Nikola and his brothers and his representation. He’ll be in Denver for a long, long time. He’ll be buying (a home) here.”

As reported by Michael Kelly of the Associated Press via CBS Denver, Connely said that

“Will Barton is still a priority.”

He also added:

“The draft was going to have very little impact on free agency,” Connelly said. “The guys that are up we want to keep, and we’re going to be aggressive trying to keep them.”