According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone is getting paid.

In an article released by ESPN, Wojnarowski divulged that the Nuggets coach would be signing a contract extension “that will make him one of the NBA’s highest-paid coaches.”

Malone is the fourth longest tenured coach in the entire NBA, trailing only legends Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra, and Steve Kerr. All three coaches have championships, and all three coaches made the NBA’s Top 15 coaches of all-time released during the 75th anniversary season. Now, Malone joins the group with a championship of his own after helping guide the Nuggets to the 2023 NBA Finals.

Malone began coaching the Nuggets over eight years ago. Ever since the 2015-16 season, the Nuggets have improved every year (outside of an injured stretch) and Malone has his fingerprints all over Denver’s improvements. Slowly but surely, the Nuggets have added consistent defense to their repertoire, a staple from Malone, and it has allowed the Nuggets to become more than just a cute story. Denver’s defense was the backbone of their NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, winning games by allowing 95, 94, 93, and 89 points to a Heat team that decimated other Eastern Conference contenders on their way to the Finals.

Since taking over as the Nuggets head coach, Malone has a 375-272 (.580) regular-season record with Denver and a 37-31 (.554) record in the playoffs. Malone already holds the record for playoff wins for the Nuggets franchise, setting the record on Denver’s Finals run last year. Malone is 57 wins away from tying a regular season wins record set my Nuggets legendary coach Doug Moe. He will likely need another season to achieve that record, but a contract extension should afford Malone time to become the all-time winningest coach in Denver Nuggets history.

So much of Denver’s success is tied up in Nikola Jokic, an all-time great player. Many have wondered aloud how responsible Jokic or Malone are for Denver’s ultimate success. It’s impossible to separate the duo though. Jokic has played nearly every single game of his career with Malone standing on the sidelines calling out plays and coverages. It would be unfair to separate their success together. Popovich and Tim Duncan are tied at the hip. Spoelstra and Dwyane Wade are paired together. Kerr and Stephen Curry will always be associated together. Great coaches often have great players, and some are blessed with the greatest of them all.

Here’s hoping Jokic and Malone spend their entire careers together and retire happy. They’re already well on their way to becoming one of the great player-coach duos in history.