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Van Exel Contract Has Incentives

January 2, 2000

DENVER (AP) _ The contract signed by Denver Nuggets point guard Nick Van Exel in August could give him as much as $77 million over seven years if he can make all of his incentives, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reported Sunday.

The deal is worth a guaranteed $50.5 million over five years and up to $77 million if Van Exel achieves incentives to guarantee two more years, the newspaper reported, citing two unnamed sources close to the NBA.

When the Nuggets signed Van Exel, The Denver Post, also citing unidentified NBA sources, reported the contract was worth at least about $8 million a year and somewhere between $60 million and $80 million over seven years with incentives.

If Van Exel reaches incentives including winning the league’s Most Valuable Player Award, his seven-year total would surpass the $67.5 million package given to forward Antonio McDyess last January, chiefly because the Nuggets were permitted under the NBA labor agreement to offer McDyess only six years as the free agent of another team, the News reported.

``For him to achieve all of his likely bonuses, he’ll be one of the top three or four point guards in the NBA (in salary),″ Nuggets president and coach Dan Issel said. ``It runs everywhere from ... some (incentives) that he’s done every year he’s been in the league, to attainable incentives that he’s never reached.″

One source said the deal included an incentive clause for talking to reporters, which Van Exel declined to do much of last season. But before the season, Issel denied it.

``I would never make anyone talk to the press,″ he said at that time.

The highest-paid point guards in the NBA this season are Utah’s John Stockton at $12 million and Seattle’s Gary Payton at $11.2 million. Van Exel will earn $8.3 million this season if he achieves only those incentives he is expected to make by the NBA officials who assign salary-cap figures to incentive-laden contracts, the News said.

Based on league assessments, Van Exel’s number on the Nuggets’ salary cap ranges from this season’s $8.3 million to $13.7 million in 2005-06, the seventh year of the deal.

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