Fresh off signing an $84 million contract, Nuggets guard Gary Harris is more focused on the basketball than the money right now.

“I’m just happy to get out there and hoop,” Harris told Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports after the team’s final practice before departing for Utah for the season opener on Wednesday.

“That great; you know, I’m happy about that, but I’m a basketball player. I’ve been a basketball player for 23 years, and I’m just happy to get out there and compete against some other guys.”

Just 23 years old, Harris is one of Denver’s young rising stars. The Michigan State product came to Denver in a 2014 draft-night trade from Chicago who selected him 19th overall. He has averaged 10.5 points and 2.5 rebounds over his first three years in the league but took a big leap forward last season when those numbers climbed to 14.9 and 3.1.

Harris started 56 of the 57 games in which he appeared last season, battling a groin and a foot injury in the early part of the season. This year he’s fully healthy and expected to play a major role for a Nuggets team that many expect will make the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

“I think it’s great that we have expectations,” Harris told Goodman and Shapiro. “It’s going to be on us to come in – we have to be better each and every day. We haven’t done anything yet, but it all starts tomorrow.”

The Nuggets have increased their win total in each of Harris’ three seasons, going from 30 to 33 to 40 and narrowly missing the playoffs last season.

Denver tips off the 2017-18 campaign against the Jazz at 7 p.m. MDT Wednesday.

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