Zeke Nnaji, Nuggets Agree To Major New Contract Extension

Zeke Nnaji, Denver Nuggets, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The Denver Nuggets are going to need some players to step up in the 2023-24 season if they are going to defend their title and repeat as champions. Right now, they have six players locked into guaranteed roles and at least another four who will be vying for a prominent role in the rotation.

One of the players who will be vying for a bigger role is Zeke Nnaji. Heading into Year 4 of his NBA career, he was also eligible for a rookie-scale extension. The two sides hammered out a deal over the weekend, beating the Monday deadline with room to spare.

According to Nnaji’s agent, Adam Pensack of Pensack Sports, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, his client signed a four-year, $32 million deal with the Nuggets on Saturday night. The fourth year on the contract is a player option, providing Nnaji with the opportunity to hit free agency in 2027 should he outplay his current contract.

This is an intriguing deal, as Denver is betting on Nnaji to take his game to another level. The No. 20 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft hasn’t had a consistent role with the team to this point, but that should change this season.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Zeke Nnaji, Denver Nuggets Updates

The 53 games he played in last season were a career-high, along with the five starts. When given extended playing time, he has produced some solid numbers. In his five starts, Nnaji averaged 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game, totaling six steals and five blocks.

A 38.2 percent shooter from 3-point range in his career, Nnaji can provide the Nuggets with a stretch big coming off the bench. With Bruce Brown, Thomas Bryant, and Jeff Green no longer on the roster, Nnaji should factor into the mix as a frontcourt player coming off the bench. 

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Zeke Nnaji, Denver Nuggets Updates

There is a chance he is the direct backup to two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, as Nnaji played 77 percent of his minutes last season at the center spot. His skill set will enable head coach Michael Malone to mix and match his lineups based on matchups.

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