For a contract reportedly worth $53 million over 4 years, seven-foot Bosnian center Jusuf Nurkic has re-signed a new deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. Nurkic was a restricted free agent heading into this free agency.
Shams Charania of Yahoo broke the news Friday night:
Restricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic has agreed to a four-year, $53M deal with Portland, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 7, 2018
Jusuf Nurkic Re-Signs With Portland Trail Blazers
Nurkic’s contract will see him playing through to the end of the 2021-22 season, with a partial guarantee in the final season.
Nurkic’s career hit a peak at the end of the 2016/17 season, when he moved to the Portland Trail Blazers at the trade deadline and played a more-than-significant role towards the team eventually reaching the playoffs. However, his play was far more erratic in the 2017/18 season. Although he averaged a decent 14.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game over 79 games, there were certain chinks in his armor.
For starters, there were certain nights where he seemed to switch off and fall apart, and was simply a non-factor in deciding the course of the game. His defense was sporadic at times, and he was unable to handle the elite Anthony Davis from pulling apart the Trail Blazers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
However, there were some nights when Nurkic seemed unstoppable. The duo of the Bosnian and Damian Lillard formed one of the most potent pick-and-roll pairs in the league, where a barreling-to-the-rim Nurkic was able to score points at will on the opposition. Looking ahead, he seems primed for a starting center role. He will certainly add to Portland’s offense with his pick-and-roll ability, as well as his work in the post. The 23-year-old still has his best years ahead of him, and now is the time for him to grow into the NBA player he wants to be.
The Trail Blazers will need Nurkic to be on top of his game in order to help his team contend for home-court advantage in the 2018/2019 season. The 23-year-old is going into his fifth NBA season, after being drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the 2014 NBA Draft.
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