The 16th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, Jusuf Nurkic spent his first two seasons in Denver, but ultimately fell out of the rotation during the 2016-17 campaign with the emergence of superstar Nikola Jokic. That prompted the Nuggets to look for a willing trade partner, which the Trail Blazers jumped at and ended up sending Mason Plumlee and a second-round pick to Denver, while getting back Nurkic and a first-round pick. It ended up being an absolute steal for the Trail Blazers, as Nurkic fit in seamlessly as the third option to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. In 20 games following the trade, Nurkic ended up averaging 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals across 29.2 minutes, evidencing an all-around game that he'd never shown before. It was a huge bump in playing time from what the 22-year-old center was used to, but he showed no signs of discomfort in taking on a bigger role and nearly doubled his numbers in every category from what he'd averaged in 45 games with the Nuggets earlier in the year. With a full training camp to gel further with his Portland teammates, Fantasy owners should have high expectations for Nurkic in 2017-18. Nurkic should easily vault into the top-10 for centers in season-long Fantasy leagues and his potential to average a double-double will be enticing. The only real negative for Nurkic is the fact that he shoots just 57.1 percent from the free-throw line, which certainly hurts his value in rotisserie style formats. Still, one of the fastest risers in the NBA last season, Nurkic could be in store for his best full season as a professional and he's going into a contract year, which should add even more fuel to the fire. A lower-leg fracture that kept him out of the majority of the playoffs is something to monitor, but he's already expected back for training camp, so it shouldn't linger into the regular season. Nurkic's all-around production should translate to an elite Fantasy center.
Nurkic recorded 13 points (3-10 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 6-8 FT), eight rebounds, an assist and a steal across 12 minutes in Friday's 129-81 win over Team Maccabi Nurkic was the only presumptive regular-season starter on the floor Friday and performed adequately in limited action. Nurkic certainly has the potential to finish the season as a Top-10 center as he's fit in well with Portland after Nikola Jokic effectively pushed him out of Denver. If the top elite big men evade you at draft time, Nurkic provides great value as he might be overlooked early by most owners.
Nurkic (concussion) is not listed on the team's injury report in advance of Friday's preseason finale against Maccabi, Mike Richman of The Oregonian reports. This is certainly a good sign for Nurkic and the team, as he plays a huge role in their gameplan. There's still a chance he could be held out, but with this news, he should be expected to play until word to the contrary emerges.
Nurkic posted 16 points (5-13 FG, 6-8 FT), seven rebounds, two assists and one steal across the 28 minutes in Monday's 97-83 exhibition win over the Kings. The big man led the way for the Blazers in scoring on the night, producing his fourth double-digit scoring effort in as many exhibitions. Nurkic has been lights out through the preseason slate and appears primed for a breakout year in his first full campaign with Portland after averaging a career-best 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals in the 20 games following his trade from the Nuggets last season.
Nurkic accumulated 13 points (6-9 FG, 1-2 FT), nine rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block across 24 minutes during Sunday's 134-106 win over the Clippers. It's hard not to be high on Nurkic's upside considering what he did in Portland after being traded there last season and now looking great through the team's first three preseason contests. Though he hasn't played more than 24 minutes in any of the games, he's always scored in double-digits and has registered at least a combined two steals and blocks in each contest. He's also shot well, going a combined 19-for-36 (52.8 percent) from the field.
Nurkic contributed 12 points (5-14 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, two blocks and a steal across 18 minutes in Thursday's 106-101 preseason win over the Raptors. The 23-year-old big man has started off the exhibition slate like a house afire, following up Tuesday's 16-point tally versus the Suns with Thursday's stat-sheet-stuffing effort. Nurkic has already put up 27 shot attempts in 34 minutes across the first pair of preseason tilts, potentially a harbinger of how involved he might be during the regular season. The former Bulls first-round pick thrived in Portland after arriving via trade from the Nuggets last season, averaging 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals across 29.2 minutes in 19 games. Entering his first full season with the Blazers, expectations of Nurkic serving as the third spoke in the team's offensive wheel alongside standout guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are undoubtedly high, and the big man looks capable of fulfilling them if early returns are any indication.
Last 7 Games
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