Nuggets’ Michael Malone to be among highest-paid coaches

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone has agreed on a contract extension that will make him one of the NBA’s highest-paid coaches, sources told ESPN on Monday.

Malone’s new deal comes in the aftermath of leading the Nuggets to the 2023 NBA championship, the first in the franchise’s history.

Malone’s long-standing partnership with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic — coupled with the organization’s deep and stable roster — gives Denver an opportunity of several more seasons of championship contention.

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Malone — who has led Denver to a Western Conference-leading 8-2 record to start the 2023-24 season — spent eight seasons lifting the franchise out of the lottery, into the playoffs and, ultimately, to an NBA title.

Denver’s 16-4 run in the 2023 playoffs was the league’s most dominant since the Golden State Warriors in 2017.

Malone is the league’s fourth-longest-tenured coach in the league — behind San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra and Golden State’s Steve Kerr. He holds a 375-272 (.580) regular-season record with Denver and is 37-31 (.554) in the playoffs.

Under Malone, the Nuggets have the second-best winning percentage in the NBA since the 2018-19 season, trailing only the Milwaukee Bucks, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Malone stands third all-time in games (647) and victories (375) among Nuggets head coaches, behind Doug Moe and George Karl.

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