The Denver Post reported on Saturday that the Denver Nuggets and Chris Andersen were having “amicable” discussions as they work towards a contract agreement. The Post claims that Denver is hoping to keep Birdman’s first year salary down around $3.0 million to reduce the luxury tax hit while Andersen and his representatives are looking for a five year, $25 million contract. Andersen knows this will be his last chance to sign a contract and the financial security of a five year deal is huge for him.
I am a little surprised that things have not been wrapped up as of yet, but it sounds like the two sides are nearing an agreement where both parties get what is most important to them.
If things drag on too long, you know other teams are just waiting and hoping that the Nuggets make a mistake which creates an opening for them to jump in and snatch Birdman up. Plus the longer things with Andersen drag out the more difficult it is for Denver to fully pursue other free agents such as Channing Frye and Grant Hill who are both being wooed by other contenders.
Nevertheless, Denver must sign Birdman to have any chance to compete next season. I thought it would be unlikely that Birdman would leave Denver a week ago and I think it is even more unlikely right now, but nothing is official until Andersen puts his Herbie Hancock on the dotted line. Players can start signing their contracts as soon as tomorrow once the NBA announces the official salary cap and luxury tax levels.