According to Porter’s agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, the Denver Nuggets and forward Michael Porter Jr.
has agreed to a five-year designated maximum contract for up to $207 million.
If Porter is named to one of the three All-NBA teams this season, he will earn $207 million. Otherwise, he’ll be paid $172 million over five years as a rookie.
This is the fourth max rookie contract extension this offseason, joining Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks
, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Boston Celtics center Robert Williams, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal extension earlier this summer,
is the only other player to sign a rookie extension thus far.
Porter and the Nuggets have spent the summer negotiating the contract,
which is difficult owing to Porter’s skill and history of back problems.
It’s a situation similar to the one the Philadelphia 76ers faced with superstar center Joel Embiid,
who missed the first two seasons of his career due to injury but has since blossomed into one of the league’s best players,
agreeing to a supermax contract extension this offseason stay in Philadelphia for the long haul.
Porter, a 6-foot-10 big with exceptional scoring talents who averaged 19 points per game last season while shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 44.5 percent from 3-point range, has done the same for Denver.
With the signing of Porter, Denver’s top four players — reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic,
Jamal Murray, Porter, and Aaron Gordon — have all agreed to long-term contracts with the Nuggets,
who is aiming to form the foundation of the franchise’s first NBA Finals squad?
Porter will play a key role this season while Murray recovers from a ruptured ACL sustained in a game against Golden State last March.
Porter’s amazing recovery story is reflected in the extension. Prior to entering the University of Missouri in 2017, he was one of the best prep prospects in the nation.
He was forced to miss all but three games in his lone season with the Tigers due to a back ailment.
The same problem led him to fall all the way to the 14th selection in the 2018 NBA draught,
when Tim Connelly, the head of basketball operations for the Denver Nuggets,
felt that the chance to acquire a player like Porter was worth the risk.
Porter would miss the whole 2018-19 season after having another back surgery soon after being selected by Denver.
Porter immediately showed the skills that made him such a highly regarded prospect in the first place after returning to the court for the 2019-20 season,
helping Denver reach the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2009.
After getting into the starting lineup on a full-time basis last season, he made a big stride forward.