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Tim Connelly expects Paul Millsap back with Nuggets next season

Paul Millsap, Nuggets, Tim Connelly

Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly expects forward Paul Millsap to return for next season, according to The Associated Press.

Millsap is coming off his second season with the team as part of a two-year pact signed in 2017, with the third season being a team option for a whopping $30 million.

“I fully expect Paul to be back in a Nuggets uniform,” said Connelly.

The Nuggets could opt to restructure his contract, but those $30 million are likely to be the biggest stack Millsap will see for the rest of his career, as he’s put his best playing days behind him at 34 years old.

Millsap played an important role in the Nuggets’ second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Nuggets are expecting to be considered as a potential landing spot for free agents in the near future.

That alone will force the front office to evaluate whether to work out a new pact with Millsap or opt for a newcomer, as $30 million is quite the way to pay for a starter averaging 12.6 points and 7.2 rebounds.

If left at that amount, Millsap would be the highest-paid player in the roster, exceeding even Nikola Jokic’s second year of a five-year, $147 million deal.

Denver loves Millsap’s energy and his contributions as well as his mentorship of young players like Jamal Murray, Malik Beasley, and Torrey Craig. Yet all comes at a cost, and if Connelly is hoping to bring him back, it’s likely the team will have to figure out a cost-friendly way to do so.