Jusuf Nurkic‘s season came to an early end this week when he suffered a horrific leg injury that figures to sideline him for much of the 2019/20 campaign as well. While it was a devastating blow for Nurkic and the Trail Blazers, the veteran center might get a bit of good news before the regular season.
As Bobby Marks of ESPN.com details in an Insider-only story, Nurkic will earn a $1.25MM bonus if Portland records at least 50 wins this season. The Trail Blazers’ record currently sits at 47-27, giving the team eight more games to win three more games, which seems like a reasonable bet. If Nurkic does earn that bonus, the Blazers’ projected tax bill will increase by more than $2MM and the big man’s cap hits in future seasons would rise, Marks notes.
Marks has the details on several other potential incentives within his article, noting that Clint Capela (Rockets) and Kyle Lowry (Raptors) will earn bonuses of $1MM and $500K respectively if their teams reach the conference finals. Lowry, who must appear in five of Toronto’s last six games to achieve his bonus, also gets a $500K incentive if the Raptors reach the NBA Finals and another $500K if they win the title.
Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…
- Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are two of the most successful players in NBA history, but they’ve yet to achieve much success as executives for the Hornets and Lakers respectively. Shaun Powell of NBA.com takes a look at how the two NBA legends are trying to turn their teams into winners.
- The NCAA has made some changes to its rules for early entrants this year, as underclassmen are now permitted to hire agents while they test the draft waters and retain their NCAA eligibility. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) breaks down the new rules, with multiple agents weighing in on the pros and cons of the changes for young prospects.
- French big man Vincent Poirier, who plays for Baskonia in Spain, said in an interview with RMC Sports that there are NBA clubs with interest in him, as Orazio Cauchi of Sportando relays. It’s not clear which teams those are, or whether they’ll attempt to bring him stateside once his contract with Baskonia expires.