Michael Porter Jr. spent his offseason working to maximize his talent, not his bank account.
Porter is eligible to sign an extension of his rookie contract worth up to $168 million, according to NBC Sports. After scoring 19 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 44.5% from 3-point range in his second NBA season, Porter plans to make his agent, Mark Bartelstein, earn his percentage of that next contract.
“It’s a thing that’s on the radar, but, you know, I try to let my agent do his job,” Porter answered Thursday when asked if he wanted to get his extension finalized before the start of the season. “I’m in the loop, so I’m talking with my agent, talking with Tim (Connelly) and those guys. For me, it’s just God’s timing. When it’s supposed to happen, it will happen. I’m not going to try to rush it. All I’m going to worry about is getting ready, trying to get geared up for the season. That’s what I hired my agent for, to figure those things out.”
Instead of crunching numbers, Porter worked to expand his game. He said he gave himself a week or two off to get healthy after tweaking something in his back that bothered him in the second-round loss to Phoenix. The primary focuses were creating shots off the dribble and punishing any mismatches that come his way.
“I saw some different matchups in the playoffs (with) smaller guys on me, so I’m trying to get comfortable with go-to moves in that mid-post area, you know like Melo does,” Porter said, mentioning Carmelo Anthony’s game.
“When there’s a mismatch, that’s a good spot to go to.”
Defense, which has been an issue for Porter and the Nuggets in the postseason, is hard to work on in the offseason, he said. There aren’t opportunities to guard the NBA’s best scorers one-on-one, but he said he used the weight room to hopefully put himself in better position on defense next season.
Porter did go head-to-head with Golden State’s Stephen Curry. Porter attended Curry’s camp in high school and went back to work with the former Most Valuable Player this summer.
“Every shooting drill was a competition,” Porter said. “So we were shooting against each other and keeping track of our wins to see who would win at the end of the day.”
The 6-foot-10 sharpshooter said he and Curry would hit the gym in the morning, sometimes returning at night. That didn’t leave much time to negotiate.
“I love basketball, so it’s not too stressful for me about the money stuff,” Porter said. “Of course, that’s part of it, but I’m just trying to stay in the gym, get better and get ready for the season.”