A key Nugget many thought was leaving town wants to be back

Jun 13, 2023, 2:41 PM

DENVER—Very few players have made their teammates better the way Nikola Jokic has one of the people who has benefited most from the two-time NBA MVP is Bruce Brown.

On top of Brown playing by far the best ball of his meandering NBA career while in Denver, he seems to love the city and the state of Colorado. Brown, from Boston, but a big country music fan, just kind of fits in Denver.

Yeehaw, saddle up and so on, Brown’s 11.5 points per game were a career-high, he also tallied 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest while playing 80 games. He was more or less Denver’s sixth starter, and he came up huge in the postseason both as a backup point guard and as a three-and-d wing.

“He’s going to get paid is what he’s going to do. He’s going to get paid to start playing,” Nuggets defensive stopper Aaron Gordon said. “My man fitting to get a bag.”

Brown signed this offseason in Denver after two years in Brooklyn where they couldn’t figure out how to use him but knew he was a good player. Brown was a point guard out of Miami but struggled in his first two seasons with the Pistons.

The deal Cowboy Bruce signed was for $13.3 million over two seasons but this second year is a $6.8 million player option. If he declines the Nuggets could offer him a total of $7.7 million for 2023-24. Brown has become a core member of the Nuggets and is arguably the team’s most important role player, at the very least he’s the most versatile.

But the same rule that allowed Brown to sign in Denver with the first place could prevent the Nuggets from keeping him. The taxpayer mid-level exemption is the deal Brown signed, which is significantly less than the non-taxpayer mid-level exemption or a straight-up cap space contract. That exemption is worth north of $10 million a season and could total a four-year $45 million deal.

Whereas if Brown comes back for one year at $7.7 million, he’ll be taking a significant risk before the Nuggets could offer him north of $13.4 million per season next offseason, starting in 2024.

“Bruce, you know you want to be back here, right?” Denver Sports DMac asked.

“For sure,” Brown said smiling.

It’s important to note many Nuggets players were inebriated at this point after just accomplishing a lifetime’s worth of work.

“I want to stay,” Brown later told The Denver Post.

“It’s a perfect fit,” Brown said in the story. “And money is not everything. The money will come. So I’m not worried about that right now.”

The Nuggets rolled through the postseason en route to their first championship.

“That’s insane,” he said of Denver’s 16-4 playoff record. “That doesn’t happen…Why not run it back?”


NBA Finals 2023

Nuggets fans...

Will Petersen

People watched the Nuggets more than any NBA playoffs the last five years

The NBA also announced these playoffs did the most views ever on social media, garnering a stunning eight billion across all their platforms

11 months ago

Nikola Jokic NBA MVP...

Will Petersen

From NYC to Serbia, billboards and tributes rolling in for Nikola Jokic

Less than 48 hours after Nike introduced an ad for him that was hilariously perfect, Jokic is on a billboard in America's most famous city

11 months ago

Jamal Murray, Jimmy Butler...

Jake Shapiro

Erik Spoelstra and Heat share ultimate respect for Nuggets

Miami will credit their sixth trip to the Finals under Erik Spoelstra as Heat Culture—but it was Spo who wound up praising Denver

11 months ago

Nikola Jokic...

Jake Shapiro

Why is Nikola Jokic in such a hurry to get back to Serbia?

Nikola Jokic has a few loves in life, his family, friends, teammates, basketball and of course horse racing

11 months ago

Skip Bayless...

Will Petersen

Even after Nuggets title, national media still doing ridiculous things

You'd think after the Nuggets won their first NBA championship, the nonsense would stop, but it didn't on Tuesday morning

11 months ago

Peyton Manning...

Jake Shapiro

Everyone from a former President to an iconic building congratulated the Nuggets

A ton of Denver Broncos congratulated the Denver Nuggets on the NBA title, as did so many more celebrities

11 months ago

A key Nugget many thought was leaving town wants to be back