According to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, the Denver Nuggets and DeAndre Jordan have agreed to a new deal to return to the team.

Jordan, 34, was signed at the beginning of free agency last year by the Nuggets, receiving a drastically different reaction than this time around. Jordan was fantastic for the Nuggets locker room, providing veteran insight and leadership to a team that constantly lauded its veterans. Jordan even suited up to play briefly in Game 5 of the 2023 NBA Finals when the Nuggets were suffering from foul trouble, making a play or two.

Jordan played 39 games for the Nuggets last season, averaging 5.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 15 minutes per game. He was supplanted by forward/big man Zeke Nnaji during the middle of the year but then reemerged late in the season as a traditional backup center option. The Nuggets don’t need a ton of minutes to be filled behind Nikola Jokić, who averaged 39.5 minutes per game during the championship run. What the Nuggets do need is optionality, and Jordan provides a veteran voice that can step in and grab some rebounds when the Nuggets need him.

The more curious move was Reggie Jackson, who re-signed with the Nuggets for the taxpayer mid-level exception, reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Jackson, 33, was added to the Nuggets roster during the middle of last season on a buyout deal. The expectation was that Jackson would help elevate Denver’s second unit in place of Bones Hyland, but that ultimately didn’t come to pass. Jackson played 18 games with the Nuggets, averaging 7.9 points and 3.1 assists in 19.9 minutes per game, shooting 38.3% from the field and 27.9% from three-point range. Jackson struggled to find his footing on both the offensive and defensive end of the floor and was ultimately out of the Nuggets rotation by the time the playoffs rolled around.

Without Brown, the Nuggets know they needed a point guard though, and they saw Jackson as a reasonable investment for this next season. A three guard bench lineup featuring Jackson, Brown, and Jamal Murray struggled last season. Perhaps the Nuggets see lineups featuring bigger wings like Christian Braun and Peyton Watson to be a better fit for Jackson. Time will tell whether that’s the right course of action.

The bigger issue for Denver though is the use of the taxpayer mid-level exception, which was their only significant method to add a free agent this season. Rather than use it to bring a new piece into the rotation, the Nuggets committed their MLE to Jackson, a point guard who has struggled to be a positive impact player during the last couple of seasons. Whether the Nuggets could have added anybody else of value with the MLE is up for debate, but the Nuggets clearly decided that retaining Jackson was the best use of that resource.

The Nuggets now have 12 roster spots committed and an estimated $9.6 million remaining below the super tax apron to fill the other three spots. Because the Nuggets signed Jackson with that mid-level exception, they cannot exceed $182.7 million in salary during the 2023-24 season.