Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas admits the team are desperate to tie shooting guard Gary Harris down to a new long-term contract.
The 23-year-old has spent his entire NBA career to date with the Nuggets and produced his best ever season last time out, averaging a career-high 14.9 points from 57 regular season games.
The Indiana native also posted his best ever averages in rebounds per game, assists per game and three-point percentages during the 2017-18 campaign, and he has now firmly established himself as one of Denver’s key players.
The Nuggets are keen to tie Harris down to a bumper new contract, with Karnisovas admitting the youngster is an integral part of the team’s long-term plan.
“He’s been such a huge part of what we’re trying to do here, a representation of what we’re building here,” Karnisovas told the Denver Post.
“Him going through trade rumours and still staying with us and being consistent and being a good leader for our guys and (knowing) how to do it, he was the ultimate professional… we’re trying to find ways to keep him here as long as we can.”
Denver cannot afford to lose Harris as they have not made the play-offs since 2013 although they only narrowly missed out last season, finishing ninth in the Western Conference.
The youngster also reminded everyone of what he can do during a recent pre-season game against the Los Angeles Lakers after he notched 25 points during the contest despite only spending 21 minutes on the court.
Denver are priced at 51.00 to win the Western Conference this season while they are available at 101.00 to claim a first NBA championship crown.