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Michael Porter Jr. signs $172M extension with Nuggets, will resist vaccination

NBA: Denver Nuggets-Media Day
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Porter Jr. put pen to paper on a maximum value $172 million rookie extension with the Denver Nuggets that could be worth more than $200 million.

Porter officially signed the agreement Wednesday, but it was an off-the-court matter that drew most of the attention.

In an interview with the Denver Post, the 23-year-old Porter said two bouts with COVID-19 led him to the decision not to be vaccinated. There is no mandate for NBA players to be vaccinated, but the NBA said Wednesday players who miss games in cities with such requirements — New York and San Francisco — would not receive game checks for those DNPs.

“For me, I had COVID twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are slim, with the vaccine, there’s a chance you could have a bad reaction to it,” Porter said. “For me, I don’t feel comfortable.

“My stance on the mandate is it definitely shouldn’t be a mandate. It should be everyone’s decision. I see it both ways. If you want to get it because you feel more protected and you feel safer, and it’s protecting people around you, get it. That’s good for you. But if you feel like, ‘Oh, for me, I don’t feel safe getting it, then don’t get it.'”

Porter averaged 19.0 points and 7.3 boards in 61 games (54 starts) last season.

His five-year extension can be worth $207 if he reaches accelerators in the deal or makes an All-NBA team.

For his career, Porter is shooting 53.2 percent from the field, 43.9 percent from 3-point range and 80.6 percent from the free-throw line.

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According to ESPN, Porter is set to earn $29.8 million in 2022-23, $32.1 million in 2023-24, $34.5 million in 2024-25, $36.9 million in 2025-26 and $39.3 million in 2026-27.

Porter is the fourth player to receive a max rookie extension this offseason, joining Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

–Field Level Media