Robinson's contract hopes fading? 

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
3:15
PM ET
Nate Robinson has had to settle on a couple of short-term, low-salary deals in recent years despite performing well in stops at Golden State and Chicago. Now in Denver and sidelined for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, are Robinson's chances of ever landing a lucrative multi-year deal fading?

Major knee surgery definitely won't help his case, that's for sure, and it doesn't help that Robinson will turn 30 before he ever sets foot in another NBA game. Also, if Robinson couldn't command a multi-year contract near the full mid-level exemption after solid seasons with the Warriors and Bulls, it seems doubtful that it'll ever happen.

But if the 5-foot-9 veteran has ever proven anything, it's that counting him out is not a wise thing to do. He is currently in the first year of a two-year deal with the Nuggets that pays him roughly $2 million annually, but can opt out and become an unrestricted free agent after the season if he chooses.

What will he decide to do? Given that he's coming off a serious injury, Robinson will most likely elect to pick up the player option and return to the Nuggets next season. From that point forward, the explosive guard with three Slam Dunk titles on his mantle is going to have to prove several things if he ever can expect a lucrative deal in the future:

  1. That he's completely over the injury and in good shape after the long layoff
  2. That age hasn't started to catch up with him
  3. That he's still capable of being the dynamic scorer he's always been
  4. That he's a good -- not bad -- influence on the team, both in the locker room and on the court

Then, and only then, might Robinson have a shot at that contract that has eluded him in recent years.

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