The Denver Nuggets will reportedly decline their team option on Nikola Jokic, but the talented young big man isn't going anywhere. According to reports, this move is simply the first step toward negotiating a larger extension.

Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania reports that Jokic will become a restricted free agent, and the two sides are expected to reach an agreement on a max contract of $146.5 million over five years. The Nuggets could have picked up the fourth-year team option, worth just $1.6 million, but it would make things more difficult when they went to resign him as an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

According to Shams Charania:

"The Nuggets faced a June 29 deadline to decide on Jokic’s option, and they have said repeatedly that they plan to retain Jokic for the long term. Both the franchise and Jokic’s representatives have worked through discussions on his future in recent weeks, league sources said."

Last season in Denver, the 23-year old center averaged career-bests across the board with 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 6.1 assist per game. The Nuggets finished just one game out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference with a record of 46-36 on the year.