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Urbina: Jusuf Nurkic Hurting His Free Agent Stock

Hoopshype lists players who are helping and hurting their contract negotiations next summer. Portland’s center is on the wrong side of the list.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic has hurt his stock the year prior to his first contract negotiation as an NBA free agent, according to Frank Urbina of Urbina compiled a list of players helping themselves in advance of next summer’s free agency market, adding others who are making the jobs of their own agents tougher. Among those trending to the positive are Will Barton of the Denver Nuggets, Enes Kanter of the New York Knicks, Julius Randle of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic. But Portland’s starting center—and great hope for the next-generation renaissance—made the naughty list.

It’s hard to say Jusuf Nurkic has really hurt his stock this season considering the Portland Trail Blazers are statistically a better team when he suits up.

But the Bosnian big man is still having trouble staying healthy, and even besides that, is shooting 45.5 percent from the floor this season. For a center to shoot that poorly while also not functioning as a three-point threat is almost unheard of.

A max deal is likely out of the question, but Nurkic should still garner a deal with an annual average of value in the seven-figure range.

Seven figures works out less than $10 million per year, which would have been consider a major bargain for the Blazers prior to the season, a huge disaster for Nurkic. Should the prediction prove true, with the Blazers retaining Nurkic at that amount, impending Luxury Tax fears would ease.

Among those joining Nurkic on the “hurting themselves” ledger: Dallas Mavericks center Nerlens Noel and guard Yogi Ferrell, Brook Lopez of the Lakers, and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics.

Nurkic is averaging 14.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game this season. He missed two games (of 26 total for the Blazers so far) with an ankle injury.