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Jusuf Nurkic re-signs with Portland Trail Blazers for 4 years, $70M

In 272 games over the past six seasons with the Blazers, Nurkic has averaged 14.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steal.
Credit: Aaron Gash, Associated Press
Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Starting center Jusuf Nurkic has re-signed with the Portland Trail Blazers, the team announced Wednesday. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported July 1 that the deal was for four years and $70 million.

In 272 games over the past six seasons with the Blazers, Nurkic has averaged 14.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steal. Last season, Nurkic averaged 15.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. He also shot a career-high 53.5% from the field.

When Nurkic has been on the court, the Blazers have been good and Nurkic has been productive. He’s a skilled playmaker, a strong rebounder and a solid defender.

Nurkic's biggest impact has been on defense. His first season in Portland, the Blazers allowed 3.2 fewer points per 100 possessions with Nurkic on the court and those numbers have only improved over time. The past two seasons, the Blazers have been 9.7 points and 8.3 points better on defense with Nurkic on the court, according to Cleaning the Glass.

But Nurkic has had a hard time staying on the court because of injuries, especially over the past few seasons. Near the end of the 2018-19 season, his third with the team, Nurkic suffered compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula in a gruesome, season-ending injury. He missed most of the following season. Bad injury luck struck again the following season when Nurkic fractured his right wrist 12 games into the season and missed the next 33 games.

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Last season, Nurkic returned to form, enjoying perhaps his best season. He played in 56 of the Blazers’ first 59 games of the season before he was shut down on Feb. 24 for the remainder of the season due to left foot plantar fasciitis. That absence was likely more about the Blazers prioritizing their draft position than Nurkic suffering an injury he couldn't play through.

In the final 18 games before he was shut down last season, Nurkic played some of the best basketball of his career, averaging 18.4 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.8 blocks in 31.9 minutes per game.

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