JULY 6: The Trail Blazers put out a press release officially announcing Nurkic’s new contract. The announcement included a statement from GM Joe Cronin, who said it was “incredibly important” to bring back the veteran center as a key piece of the team’s core.
“Nurk’s physicality, rebounding prowess and defensive acumen make him an integral part of what we do on both sides of the ball,” Cronin said.
JULY 1: The Trail Blazers will re-sign center Jusuf Nurkic at $70MM over four seasons, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Nurkic’s agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, confirmed the agreement.
The deal shows that Nurkic is still viewed as part of the future in Portland. There had been speculation around the trade deadline that he might be moved as part of a rebuild, but the Blazers have been heading in the other direction, making roster moves aimed at a quick return to contention.
Nurkic, 27, averaged 15.0 points and 11.1 rebounds last season, but he was sidelined by plantar fasciitis in mid-February. With Portland well out of the playoff race, the team opted to not have Nurkic try to return for the end of the season.
Nurkic started his NBA career with the Nuggets, but was traded to the Blazers in 2017 after Nikola Jokic emerged as a star in Denver. He overcame a compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula in 2019 and was fully healthy heading into last season.
Re-signing Nurkic ends any interest that Portland may have had in the Suns’ Deandre Ayton. The Blazers had been mentioned as a possible destination for the free agent center.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report first reported earlier in the week that a four-year deal in the range of $17MM per year for Nurkic and the Blazers was a likely outcome. It’s a pay raise for the big man, whose last contract was worth $48MM over four years.
Portland has been busy so far in free agency, reaching multiyear agreements with Anfernee Simons and Gary Payton II in addition to Nurkic.
10 thoughts on “Jusuf Nurkic Signs Four-Year Deal With Trail Blazers”
I don’t understand Portland. They’re locking everyone up long term on a team whose absolute ceiling is 2nd round of the playoffs
Luckily you’re not the GM lol. Whom do you want on the C instead?
The play in tourney is their ceiling.
This team has just managed to rearrange the chairs on the Titanic. I don’t see how this is any different from last years team. 2 highly paid guards that aren’t very good defensively, a middle of the pack center, GPIII and Hart replace Powell and Grant replaces Covington. Along with a still very young and promising bench who are just a year older.
GPII and Hart bring grit and defense, Powell is another guy who scores and does nothing else to impact a game. Grant is a huge upgrade over Covington and they also drafted Sharpe. Simons is cheaper and younger than CJ, maybe a higher ceiling too. Not saying it’s a contender, but on paper they’ve improved in a lot of areas, particularly on defense.
Those pieces aren’t making you contenders in the west. If you aren’t good enough to contend and bad enough to tank. You’re pretty much a treadmill team. Blazers have no direction right now.
Last year before shutting down Simons, Hart, and Nurkic, POR was showing streaks of incredible basketball. It was brief, but if coach Billups can organize this team, the potential is championship caliber. Maybe not this year, but the bench is full of young players to trade for missing pieces if/when they become more apparent and when the right guys become available. And they still have Bledsoe’s contract to upgrade for this year.
Of course, the West is still stacked, so odds are still against POR, but shifting chairs around? Bad analogy…
For $10M more ($2.5 p/y) the Knicks didn’t feel it was worth exploring as opposed to signing Robinson? The guy can pass, shoot, and rebound with the occasional block, steal and three.
Among other things, NYK didn’t have the cap space. Mitch was signed with BRs off a 1.8 mm cap hold.
They could have got d Howard for the vet min and get basically the same thing for a lot less