The Portland Trail Blazers have signed forward Nassir Little to a four-year, $28 million contract extension ahead of the Monday deadline. This is a fully guaranteed deal.
Little was selected 25th overall by Portland in the 2019 NBA Draft. During his rookie 2019-20 season, in 48 appearances, the forward averaged 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
According to some NBA betting sites, the Trail Blazers possess the 12th-lowest odds to win the championship in 2023. But a few sportsbooks are anticipating another playoff appearance this season.
Little showed tremendous progress a season ago before a season-ending shoulder injury in January, but is fully recovered and now lands a fully-guaranteed $28M extension ahead of the Monday deadline. https://t.co/4vtDbXU2MS
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 17, 2022
Then, in the following 2020-21 season, Little logged 4.6 points and 2.7 boards per contest in 48 games. Plus, he shot 46.7% from the floor and 35% from 3-point range.
On February 1, 2021, in the Trail Blazers’ 134-106 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks, the UNC product scored a career-high 30 points in 30 minutes of action. He finished 11-of-18 (61.1%) shooting from the field. And he sank five 3-pointers.
Last season, in 42 appearances, the wing averaged career highs of 9.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. He also shot 46% from the field and 33.1% from downtown.
Head coach Chauncey Billups played Little for 25.9 minutes per game, and the forward made starts in 23 contests.
Trail Blazers ink forward Nassir Little to a four-year, $28 million contract extension
In the Trail Blazers’ 136-131 win over the Atlanta Hawks on January 3, 2022, Little ended his performance with a season-high 22 points in 36 minutes played.
However, the forward suffered a left shoulder labral tear weeks later. The Trail Blazers then announced that Little would undergo season-ending surgery.
He ended his third NBA season with a total of three double-doubles. In May, the forward also underwent abdominal surgery.
Furthermore, Little played 36 games in the NCAA with UNC. In his freshman 2018-19 season, the wing averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 boards per contest. Also, he shot 47.8% from the floor and 26.9% from beyond the arc.
He finished 19th in the ACC in made 2-point field goals (117) and 15th in games played (36). Alongside Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons, the Florida native helps make the Trail Blazers a contender.
While the forward did not receive any honors in college, he was a standout player in high school. He scored 28 points during the 2018 McDonald’s All-American Game. He was named MVP.
Not to mention, after scoring 24 points in 25 points at the Jordan Brand Classic, Little was named Jordan Brand Classic MVP. Can he duplicate his high school success at the NBA level? So far, the forward has improved each season.
When healthy, Nassir Little is a vital asset to the Trail Blazers’ frontcourt. Oddsmakers are expecting the Western Conference team to return to the playoffs in the 2022-23 season.
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