Predicting next contracts for the Portland Trail Blazers 2022 free agents

Jusuf Nurkic, Robert Covington, Portland Trail Blazers, free agents (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Jusuf Nurkic, Robert Covington, Portland Trail Blazers, free agents (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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The Portland Trail Blazers have three players that will become free agents entering the 2022 offseason: Jusuf Nurkic, Robert Covington, and Anfernee Simons. Each one of them has a plausible case for significant pay raises on their next contract.

In the upcoming season, each of these ballers will be playing on what could be considered an underpaid deal. Nurkic clocks in at $12 million, RoCo at just under $13 million, and Anfenee Simons will be playing on the final year of his rookie deal at around four million, according to spotrac.

The Blazers might not be able to retain all of their free agents and it might be wiser to move them before they run the risk of losing the assets for nothing. As previously noted, Portland has over 77 percent of their predicted cap space for next season tied up between Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Norman Powell. If General Manager Neil Olshey intends to keep improving on the roster, the most clear path would be through the trade market.

What could the Portland Trail Blazers 2022 free agents command on the open market?

If each of the Portland Trail Blazers impending free agents seeks a raise in 2022, Rip City likely won’t tie up their cap space and enter the luxury tax to retain them all. Here’s how much to expect each to make on their next contracts:

Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers
Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

1. Jusuf Nurkic

Jusuf Nurkic is a tough one to predict, as he plays the NBA’s least valuable position, but is also one of the most impactful players in his role. He’s also still young enough to further grow before hitting his ceiling at just 27 years old.

Nurk is a great positional defender and has proven that he can anchor a defense with smart rotations and strong rim protection. On offense, he’s a multifaceted threat who can score inside, from midrange, and can be counted on for 3-5 assists per night as a secondary playmaker from the post.

It’s obvious that the Bosnian Beast is a high-end starter at the center position and should be paid as such. With that in mind, he’ll likely land a deal similar to the extension Richaun Holmes just inked with the Sacramento Kings. Given his injury history, whoever signs Nurk to his next contract could tack off a year or a couple million dollars from his actual worth.

Predicted contract: Four years/$52 million