Michael Malone, head coach of the Denver Nuggets, looks on during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, November 12, 2023. /CFP
The Denver Nuggets have reached a contract extension with their head coach Michael Malone who will become one of the highest-paid coaches in the NBA once the new deal comes into effect, The Athletic reported on Monday.
It's unclear how much Malone will make either annually or totally with his new contract. Currently, the four best-paid head coaches in the league are: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs ($16 million), Monty Williams of the Detroit Pistons ($13 million), Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors ($9.5 million), and Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat ($8.5 million).
Popovich has been coaching the Spurs since 1996 and he helped the team win all five of their NBA titles. Williams began his coaching career with the Phoenix Suns in 2019 which finished as the Western Conference leader twice during his four-year tenure and made the NBA Finals in 2021. The Pistons signed him a six-year, $78.5 million deal contract that can reach nearly $100 million in total if the seventh- and the eighth-year options are exercised and all incentives met.
Michael Malone, head coach of the Denver Nuggets, shows his NBA championship ring ahead of the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, October 24, 2023. /CFP
Like Popovich to the Spurs, Kerr made the Warriors the team that never missed the NBA Finals between 2015 and 2019, won three titles then, and appeared in the final race again to win another trophy in 2022. Spoelstra has been coaching the Heat since 2008. He led the team to the NBA Finals six times and won two of them.
Now Malone has joined the four great coaches above. He took over the Nuggets in 2015 and spent the following eight seasons carving them into a champion team and helping Nikola Jokic grow to become a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player as well as a top-three offensive center in league history.
The Nuggets are currently leading the Western Conference with an 8-2 record in the 2023-24 regular season.