Nuggets sign Wilson Chandler for 5 years, $37 million

Closure can be a wonderful thing.

One of the stranger free agent pursuits in recent history has finally come to an end. As first reported by the Denver Post, restricted free agent Wilson Chandler agreed to a five year contract with the Nuggets worth $37 million.

There’s no doubt this is a big win for Wilson, who missed out on true free agency by signing to play in China during last summer’s NBA lockout. Wilson’s only option in terms of rejoining the league this year was to sign with Denver.

Chandler’s deal averages $7.4 million a year and is nearly identical to the base value of Arron Afflalo’s new contract. Afflalo’s deal contains incentives that could bump the value up to $43 million over five years.

My initial view is that this is fair deal, but an incredibly generous offer to make to someone in Wilson Chandler’s position. There’s no doubt shedding Nene’s $13.5 million annual salary and the amount given to Arron Afflalo in restricted free agency were key factors in the long, drawn out negotiations that finally culminated in today’s deal.

More reaction and analysis to the Chandler signing will be coming soon, but I personally believe this a solid move for Denver and something they needed to get done. To put it in perspective, both Chandler and Gallo’s new contracts add up to roughly the max salary figure Carmelo Anthony makes over the life of his extension, which was reportedly being offered to him by the Nuggets brass (although I seriously doubt it after watching Masai and Josh run things the way they have over the past year and a half).

Chandler is one of the more unique threes in the league, who excels on the wing offensively but is probably best suited to defending the post, where he has the strength to match up on taller players and the defensive instincts to provide much needed weak side help. Chandler should be in great shape having played ball virtually all summer long and I wouldn’t be surprised if he immediately picks up starters minutes.

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Charlie Yao

Managing Editor at Roundball Mining Company and writer since 2010. Unhealthily obsessed with Nuggets basketball since 2002. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at the links on the left.
  • Tae

    Starter minutes? Where are these minutes coming from? I would think the wing position is incredibly crowded as is, unless the Nuggets are going fast-ball with Gallo at the 4.

  • Eddi0

    Finally! Whole lotta posturing and playing “hard to get” for a contract we all assumed he’d get ($6-8M/yr). I think this is a bit high however since he is only playing 21 games this year (+ playoff games if applicable). It’s really 4.32 years for $35M (just over $8M for the actual time he will play). Wilson hasn’t played in the NBA since last June so it seems a bit risky but the dude can shoot a bit (not the best at 3’s) but he is really known for his defense. Thadeus Young got a 5 yr/$42M contract last summer and he is a bench player and he was in the same draft class as Wilson. I think these players are quite similar actually and contracts are almost identical for the time they will play. I think my biggest problem with Wilson is that he didn’t/nor hasn’t sounded like he really wants to play for the Denver Nuggets. Kind of get the vibe he never has wanted to play here but he knew we had him by the short and curlies (aka restricted free agency) so he just signed.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Wilson even before he came to the Nuggets. Don’t find guys this versatile not named Lebron or DWade at this price tag. But would really like to hear from him that he is happy to be in Denver and happy to be a Nugget. Am I asking for too much?

    Oh, and how about a smile every once in awhile:)

  • Sam Adhikari

    Overpaid. Doesn’t deserve $7M a year. Hopefully he plays like his contract.

    I don’t know what Masiah Uriji is doing in Denver. This roster is built for mediocrity for the next 5 years. Is he gathering all these assets at a well price to hit a homerun by trading for a championship caliber player? Or does he really think Denver can win a title with this roster? If he does that’s foolish.

    • Desean

      I think Masai likes the players he has put together but as shown in the nene trade, he isn’t afraid to take a chance if it arises. This may be the core going forward or we could make a big move if there is an opportunity

  • matt

    seriously starter minutes are not going to happen. unless karl finally lessens harrington and millers minutes. but if he does that then they need to go to faried and javalle now that we have him, and some more to kufos.

  • Desean

    Masai is stock piling assets. I like it

  • GK4Prez

    After Melo was traded this team was headed for a rebuild, and that is where they currently reside, which is par for the course. How many other teams that are in rebuild mode are sitting at 25-20 and in a playoff race where they are currently one of the teams in the dance?

    There are some teams in similar positions with a few more quality picks coming up, but the Nuggets have extra picks and plenty of talent to work out a nice trade if one were to fall in their lap, and that newly acquired 13 million TPE is also handy to have in a pinch, so far it has been regenerated a few times and has already landed the Nuggets several players since the Gallo trade went down.

    The only downfall to going this route is getting stuck in mediocrity, but even that shouldn’t be a major concern at the moment when you consider the Nuggets are now one of the youngest teams in the league, and they will likely get even younger after this season is finished.

    So far, I think Josh and Ujiri have done a very decent job in flipping the roster.

    • GK4Prez

      Locking Chandler up was a no-brainer. It was either this or let him walk and get nothing. Yeah, I know they could have worked out a sign and trade for him, but that would have been an option to do with only one team, which would have been whatever team he inked an offer sheet with during the off-season. Now, the Nuggets can work out a sign and trade with 29 other teams if they decide to trade him and get a better return on the investment in the process, which I hope doesn’t happen because I would like to see him fit in and stay in Denver.

      • GK4Prez

        dang, they need to get an edit function on here…lol I meant trade him to 29 other teams. The sign and trade is obviously no longer an option.

  • Peter

    I think there should be enough minutes for Chandler. Next year things should clear up a lot. I’m sure Massai will be smart enough to get rid of Andre Miller. Then you can use AAA as back up point guard(he played point in college) with Chandler splitting time with AAA at shooting guard and Gallo at small forward. My biggest fear for the rest of the season is that GK is going to fall in love with a small ball lineup of Lawson-Miller-Chandler-Galinari-Harrington…Which has proven it can’t get rebounds when it matters.

  • stevesf47

    we have so much flexibility next year. I think even after this signing we have roughly 16 million left to sign mcgee. I would think Mcgee would get a Deandre Jordan type deal around 9 mill per. So we are left with roughly 7 mill after we let miller and rudy go into FA. We could easily amnesty birdman to save around 4.5 mill off the book or harrington who’s at 6.5. Honestly, i’d let Al go because he is signed for 3 more years after this while birdman at 2 and we have chandler now to fill his role. Birdman is a fan fav as well.

  • Warren

    Al Harrington has restored his trade value this season, because he’s been given an oppertunity to play and he’s played well. Al Harrington is now a trade asset. No need to use Amnesty on Al Harrington.

    The Nuggets could attempt to package Al Harrington-PF and Mozgov-C

    There will be teams interested in a 4 that can shoot and stretch the floor and be an effective bigman off the bench type 6th man player, along with a 7-foot backup Center in Mozgov.

    Perhaps attempt to trade those two, for a backup PG, much like the Lakers just did to acquire Sessions as their backup (possible starting) PG. Sessions is a quality backup PG with upside. If the Nuggets can get an equivilant backup PG for Al Harrington/Mozgov, that’d be the move to make.

  • Dubz

    These last 3-4 days have risen Masai to epic proportions in my eyes. Dump Nene and that atrocious contract in exchange for McGee and essentially cap space to sign Chandler and Lawson for the long haul? Brilliant. Chandler is the type of guy you win a championship with. Not as your #1, or even #2, but the all around glue guy. We can now ship off Brewer and Fernandez for Chandler can shore up those two voids in one player. Not to mention, this allows Al to go back to his 23-24 min range where he’s most comfortable at. What people need to realize is is Chandler and Gallo are playing together, Chandler will play PF, not Gallo. That’s the beauty of Chandler, as mentioned above he can guard guys who are much taller than him because he has long arms and great defensive instincts. He can draw out the bigs as well on offense because he can shoot the 3 ball. This move will really improve denver, just watch.

  • Chris

    AAA needs to go to the bench where he belongs…., we need to stop hyping up this non exslosive, non ball handling two guard, please fellow Nuggets fans we need to exspect more for are team now.

    • stevesf47

      I totally disagree. Yes he started out slow but he is one of our best players. He is the team leader honestly. If you watch the huddle, he’s the one doing the talking.

      I love AA. He is a very good defender. The only time he gets crazy is when he’s asked to carry the load (which he should never). Heck he was avg near 20 ppg when gallo and nene were out and if it werent for him, we would have lost another 2 or 3 games during that stretch.

      Good Defender, good 3 point shooter, can step up if need be in a pinch to do more offensively, Great leader. Totally worth 8 mill per IMO.

      • al68

        Para mi tambien AA debería ser suplente, ya lo he dicho mas veces entorpece muchas veces la circulacion de balon, podria ser un buen complemento si tuviesemos un jugador exterior SG o SF de 20 pts/pg, pero no con el equipo que ahora tenemos.

        Creo que este equipo al final de la temporada pasada parecia que iba a ser un serio contendente al anillo y ahora va sin rumbo con los grandes fichajes de Nene y AA la venta de Nene luego, creo que hemos perdido un poco el rumbo.

        Lo mas curioso es que esta situacion la puede cambiar el jugador mas retardado de la NBA.

        • GK4Prez

          Translation =

          To my AA should also be a backup, I’ve said many times more often hinders the movement of ball, could be a good addition if we had a player outside of SG or SF 20 pts / pg, but not with the team we have now.

          I think this team at the end of last season looked like it would be a serious contender the ring and now drifts with the big signings of Nene and Nene selling AA then I think we lost a little direction.

          The most curious is that this situation can change the most retarded player in the NBA.

  • Connor P.

    This team is just getting more and more loaded. Can’t wait to see if Chandler and Mcghee get in there.