So, just under two weeks ago, I posted on here about the Shams Charania report that the Denver Nuggets and Jamal Murray were set to agree to a contract extension.

Unfortunately, things have grown a bit more complicated on both sides since then, and the initial framing of the deal being imminent has been off. The Nuggets and Murray have yet to agree to a contract, and there’s an expectation that this could drag on longer than expected.

So, what gives? Why the wait?

A couple hours ago, I shared some tweets on the Jamal Murray contract extension talks and wanted to expand upon my thoughts here.

The first tweet focuses on the Nuggets and Murray not yet agreeing to a contract extension despite it being several days beyond when Charania shared that a deal was expected to get done.

The second tweet focuses on the idea that a maximum contract extension of four years, $208.5 million has been offered. That’s a bit of a misnomer.

The Nuggets do intend to sign Jamal Murray. That’s still a goal for the organization; however, they are hoping to agree to a contract that protects them, rather than a blanket, no-questions-asked maximum extension. How they are protecting themselves is the real question.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells me that the Nuggets have offered the framework of a maximum contract to Murray, but that contract isn’t fully guaranteed at this time.

There are a few different ways the Nuggets could protect themselves, perhaps offering a contract with similar language to one signed by Zion Williamson, who would have to meet certain games played and weigh-in checkpoints to guarantee the deal. The Nuggets could also negotiate the final year of the contract and whether it’s fully guaranteed or partially guaranteed in some way. Either way, there would be an “out” available for the Nuggets if they desired to change the direction of the organization.

Murray and his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, are not inclined to sign a deal with language tied to playing time and fitness. They want a fully guaranteed contract and are willing to wait, according to league sources.

This past year was a difficult one for Murray and the Nuggets. The Nuggets star point guard played 59 games, sustaining a hamstring injury early in the season. Murray struggled to stay on the court for the entire season and ultimately struggled in the playoffs too. There were the high points of two separate game-winning shots against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, and Murray did have 35 points in Game 7 against the Minnesota Timberwolves when most other Nuggets struggled. Unfortunately, the first six games saw Murray struggle significantly at times. It wasn’t the year that he nor the Nuggets envisioned, and there’s been tension throughout.

At this point, Murray and the Nuggets appear to be suspending negotiations until after the 2024 Paris Olympics that run from July 27 to Aug. 11.

This is a difficult time for an impasse in contract negotiations. Murray is suiting up for Canada in Paris. The Canadians and Team USA are actually playing a friendly exhibition match on July 10 as part of preparations for both teams. Murray will likely participate, and that poses a larger question: why would Murray go into international competition with only one more year on his contract if there was a legitimate max extension on the table? Shouldn’t there be two-hundred million reasons to protect yourself?

The pieces aren’t quite adding up here.

Perhaps both sides will come back to the negotiating table after the Olympics. One side or the other may give in and sign a deal. Perhaps both sides make a concession in order to lock in Murray for the foreseeable future. The Nuggets know he’s a valuable member of a championship caliber core. They also know that building a championship contender around Nikola Jokic can happen in multiple ways and want the flexibility necessary to maximize his prime years.

Whatever the case, the two sides have not agreed to a deal. There’s a belief from both sides that an extension will still happen eventually, but negotiations are still ongoing.

Let’s see whether general manager Calvin Booth and the Nuggets front office can close the deal with Murray. Because if Murray enters the 2024-25 regular season on an expiring contract after an agreement was initially reported, that would be a bad sign.