Ty Lawson

The Denver Nuggets have signed point guard Ty Lawson to a multiyear contract extension, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri announced today. According to the Denver Post, it is a four-year extension worth $48 million.

“We felt Ty was ready to take on a lot of responsibility last season and he proved he could handle it,” Ujiri said. “He is maturing as a leader on the court and in the locker room, so it was an easy decision for us to sign him to an extension.”

Lawson, 24, excelled in his first full season as a starter in 2011-12, averaging career-highs in nearly every statistical category, including points (16.4), assists (6.6), rebounds (3.7) and steals (1.34).

He shot .488 from the field, recorded nine double-doubles and led Denver in scoring a team-best 19 times.

Lawson, 5-11, 195, also performed well in the playoffs, averaging 19 points and six assists during the Nuggets’ seven-game series against the Los Angeles Lakers. With the Nuggets facing elimination in Game 6, he scored a playoff career-high 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting to help the Nuggets extend the series.

“We are thrilled to have reached an agreement on a contractual extension with Ty,” Nuggets president Josh Kroenke said. “This new contract is a reflection of his hard work and dedication throughout the past three seasons with our organization. Ty is a dynamic player, a wonderful person, and someone we expect to lead us into the future.”

Lawson, the 18th overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, has steadily improved in each of his three seasons since being acquired by the Nuggets in a draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 25, 2009.

He averaged 8.3 points and 3.1 assists as a rookie in 2009-10 and 11.7 points and 4.6 assists in 2010-11.

Given more responsibility last season, Lawson emerged as a reliable floor leader and scorer. During a three-game stretch immediately after the All-Star break, he averaged 20.7 points, 11.7 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 1.33 steals and was named Western Conference Player of the Week.

He became the first Nuggets player to average at least 20 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds over three games since Fat Lever in April 1989.

Lawson continued to produce as the Nuggets battled for a playoff spot late in the season. He scored 22 points and added a career-high 15 assists on March 2 at Houston and struck for 29 points and 10 assists in a playoff-clinching victory at Phoenix on April 21.

A year earlier, Lawson became the first NBA player to make his first 10 three-point attempts when he caught fire against the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 9, 2011, at Pepsi Center. He finished 10-of-11 from long range en route to a career-high 37 points.