How a Trail Blazers win over the Grizzlies earned injured big man Jusuf Nurkic more than $1 million

Portland Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic, unfortunately, saw his excellent season cut short on March 25, when he suffered a broken leg against the Brooklyn Nets. But even though he won't be able to suit up again this season, he's still getting bonuses.

Due to an incentive clause in his contract, Nurkic is set to earn an extra $1.25 million by appearing in 70 games and the Trail Blazers winning 50 games. Via ESPN:

After playing in 79 games last year, Nurkic has to appear in 70 games or more and have the Trail Blazers win 50 games to earn $1.25 million. The bonus is deemed unlikely on the cap sheet because Portland won 49 games last season.

Nurkic earning the bonus would cause the Blazers' tax bill to increase from $12.6 million to $14.7 million.

Despite going down with the season-ending injury, the durable Nurkic had already played in 72 games, passing that benchmark. With Wednesday's 116-89 win over the Grizzlies, the Blazers hit the 50-win plateau -- which equals big bucks for Nurkic. 

While Nurkic would obviously prefer to still be on the court, this is a pretty nice way to boost his spirits. It's also great news for the Trail Blazers, who hadn't won 50 games in a season since 2015. Plus, they need to close the season strong in order to not only hold on to the No. 4 seed in the West but also potentially catch the Houston Rockets for the No. 3 seed. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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