Veteran center Danny Schayes has agreed to a six-year, $9 million contract with the Denver Nuggets that will make him the second-highest paid player on the team and one of the highest paid centers in the NBA.
Schayes, who made $425,000 last year, will be getting a raise of about 250 percent to remain with the Nuggets.Only six centers in the league were paid more than the estimated $1.5 million Schayes will earn this year.
Nuggets president Pete Babcock called the size of the contract "Fantasyland."
"I'm very happy with it, of course," Schayes said Friday. "There were a couple of situations I looked at, teams we talked to, but I'm very happy to be back with the Nuggets."
Schayes had firm offers from two teams, which have not been identified by Schayes or his agent, Bob Woolf. Those offers set the market value for Schayes, a 29-year-old coming off his best season as a pro.
Woolf acknowledged he had received higher offers for Schayes in the free-agent market, but that Schayes' stated desire to remain in Denver outweighed strict monetary considerations.
Woolf said he also took into account Babcock's contention that the Nuggets deserved some credit for Schayes' dramatic improvement as a player.
Schayes benefitted from perfect timing, having his best season just as the contract rules were changed.
When the NBA and its players association approved a new collective bargaining agreement last April, free agents with seven or more years in the league were given the right to change teams without their previous team having right-of-first-refusal. Schayes just finished his seventh year in the league.