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Nuggets, head coach Michael Malone reach extension after NBA title run

Michael Malone has been with the Nuggets since 2015, and he is the fourth-longest-tenured head coach in the NBA

Michael Malone isn’t leaving Denver anytime soon.

The Nuggets and Malone agreed to a contract extension that will make him one of the league’s highest-paid coaches, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Nov. 13. The Nuggets announced the deal, without financial details, on Tuesday.

Malone’s contract extension comes on the heels of the Nuggets winning their first NBA title last summer. Specific terms of the deal are not yet known. By comparison, the Detroit Pistons reached a six-year deal with head coach Monty Williams this past offseason that could reach close to $100 million with incentives and team options. Gregg Popovich signed a five-year extension last summer, too, that is worth more than $80 million.

Michael Malone will now reportedly be one of the highest-paid coaches in the league.
Michael Malone will now reportedly be one of the highest-paid coaches in the league. (AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

“We are thrilled to announce this extension with Coach Malone and to keep him leading the Nuggets for years to come,” KSE vice chairman Josh Kroenke said in a statement. “To see our team continue to improve year after year, culminating with our ultimate goal of an NBA Championship is exactly what we all envisioned on the day we hired Michael in 2015. This extension is extremely well deserved and there’s no question about the commitment and dedication that Michael has shown to our organization.”

Malone took over in Denver in 2015, and he is the fourth-longest-tenured coach in the league behind Popovich in San Antonio, Erik Spoelstra in Miami and Steve Kerr with Golden State. Malone took over for Brian Shaw in Denver and took the Nuggets from one of the worst teams in the league and turned them into a powerhouse in the Western Conference alongside two-time MVP Nikola Jokić. The Nuggets have the second-best winning percentage in the league since the 2018-19 season, according to ESPN, and they went 16-4 in the playoffs last season en route to their championship.

Malone, 52, is currently third in franchise history in both games and wins behind Doug Moe and George Karl, and his 37 postseason wins are the most in franchise history. He is sixth on the all-time wins list among active coaches in the NBA, too. Before landing in Denver, Malone spent two seasons leading the Sacramento Kings. He was also an assistant coach with the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Hornets and Golden State Warriors.

The Nuggets are off to an 10-4 start this season, a half-game out of first place in the Western Conference.