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Nuggets signing Torrey Craig to two-year, $4 million contract

Indiana Pacers v Denver Nuggets

DENVER, CO - APRIL 03: Torrey Craig #3 of the Denver Nuggets plays the Indiana Pacers at the Pepsi Center on April 3, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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Even after sending Wilson Chandler to the 76ers in a salary-dump trade, the Nuggets are still well over the luxury-tax line.

But Denver isn’t pinching pennies with Torrey Craig, who was on a two-way contract last year.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Craig’s minimum over two years was $2,937,614. So, this is a nice and somewhat surprising raise for him.

Craig earned it by defending small forwards well – a major need for the Nuggets, especially after losing Chandler. Denver’s oversized big backup combo forwards (Juan Hernangomez and Tyler Lydon) are too slow for many matchups.

There’s a clear role for Craig on this team, to the point the Nuggets waded deeper into the luxury to keep him – though that’s not assessed until the final day of the regular season.

Expect Denver to attempt to dump Kenneth Faried or Mason Plumlee, which could get the Nuggets out of the tax completely. That was always an obvious goal for Denver, but with Craig re-signing, it carries great significance.