DENVER, July 9, 2018 – The Denver Nuggets have signed center Nikola Jokić to a contract extension, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.
“It’s not every day that you find a player with the incredible skillset to lead an NBA franchise that Nikola has, but also the character and personality to match that,” said Josh Kroenke, Vice Chairman of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. “It sounds simple, but our program is built on identifying good people who work hard and represent our organization with pride. Nikola embodies everything we look for in a player and person as he will do anything asked of him because his only concern is helping his team win. Seeing Nikola grow on and off the basketball court is something in which our organization has taken immense pride, and we were determined to do whatever it took to keep Nikola in a Nuggets uniform for a very long time. It’s exciting for us to be able to reward Nikola for his hard work thus far, and Nuggets fans should look forward to continue watching him grow into one of the very best players in this league and the leader of our team for years to come.”
Jokić, 23, enjoyed a historic campaign in 2017-18, averaging career-highs across the board with 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds. 6.1 assists and 1.20 steals while shooting .499 from the field and .396 from three in 75 games. He became just the sixth player in NBA history to average 18+ points, 10+ rebounds and 6+ assists for a whole season, joining Russell Westbrook, Kevin Garnett, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson. He is the first player ever to average those numbers in under 33.0 minutes per game. He was also named Western Conference Player of the Week two times in 2017-18, the first Nugget to earn multiple Player of the Week honors in the same season since Carmelo Anthony in 2009-10.
“I am so happy to remain a Denver Nugget for many years to come, it is truly an amazing feeling,” said Jokić. “This franchise believed in me in 2014 and I want to thank the Kroenke family and our great front-office, coaching and training staffs for supporting me and being there for me over the last three years as I’ve become the player I am today.”
The Sombor, Serbia native tallied 10 triple-doubles in 2017-18, including the fastest triple-double in the history of the NBA by reaching the feat in just 14 minutes and 55 seconds at Milwaukee on Feb. 15. He finished that game with 30 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high 17 assists in just 34 minutes, joining Magic Johnson and James Harden as the only three players in NBA history to reach those numbers in a single game. He also joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players 6’ 10” or taller in NBA history to notch three triple-doubles in a row.
Jokić’s 10 triple-doubles in 2017-18 were the most by a Nugget in a single campaign since Fat Lever in 1987-88 and his 16 triple-doubles since the start of the 2016-17 season are the fourth-most in the NBA in that span behind only Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and James Harden. Jokić owns two career games with 15+ points, 20+ rebounds, 11+ assists and 2+ steals, joining fellow Nugget Fat Lever as the only two players in NBA history to reach those numbers in multiple games.
The versatile big man’s young NBA career has been filled with milestones and impressive feats, including becoming just the fifth player in NBA history with 3,000+ points, 2,000+ rebounds and 1,000+ assists in their first three seasons (Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Maurice Stokes and Sidney Wicks). Jokić was selected by the Nuggets with the 41st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and came to Denver after spending the previous three seasons playing for KK Mega Vizura of the Adriatic League.