The Denver Post is reporting the Denver Nuggets and Chris Andersen have agreed to a five year contract worth up to $26 million. As we suspected Chris Andersen was able to get the five year commitment he was looking for while the Nuggets have locked up a vital player for a relatively low first year salary of $3.7 million. The contract is full of incentives that if earned can push Andersen’s total haul over five seasons to $26 million.
Now the Nuggets can plow full speed ahead with their pursuit of other free agents that are reported to be Channing Frye and Grant Hill.
Because Birdman only played for the Nuggets for one season it is my understanding that Denver had to use a portion of their mid level exception in order to sign him for a salary of over 120% of the minimum. The league has announced that the mid level exception has been set at $5.854 million, which will leave Denver with $2.154 million to spend. Denver also has the biannual exception they can use which is worth $1.99 million this season although it cannot be split up between multiple players the way the mid level exception can.
It will be very difficult to sing both Frye and Hill with their limited resources, but we will get to see if Denver does have any pull as a prime free agent destination after their 2008-09 success as Cleveland is interested in Frye and Boston and New York are hot for Hill.
However, Denver does have a couple of big trade exceptions to play around with that could help them bring Frye and Hill to the Mile High City via sign and trade for salaries greater than what the Nuggets have available under the mid level and biannual exceptions.