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

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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 got plenty on the line.

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Due to an incentive clause in his contract, Nurkic is set to earn an extra $1.25 million if he appears in 70 games and the Trail Blazers win 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. Now, heading into Wednesday night’s contest with the Memphis Grizzlies, (10 p.m. ET — Watch on FuboTV with NBA League Pass add-on ), the Trail Blazers have 49 wins. Which means a win at the Moda Center equals big bucks for Nurkic.

And the good news for Nurkic is even if the Trail Blazers can’t get it done on Wednesday night, they still have four more games left on their schedule to close the season, which means four more chances at a million bucks.

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

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