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Jusuf Nurkic - C, 7'0, 280
Portland Trail Blazers - Acquired via trade in February 2017
       Date of birth: 08/23/1994
       Country: Bosnia/Slovenia
     Drafted (NBA): 16th pick, 2014
     Out of: Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia)
  NBA Experience: 3 years
  Hand: Right

20th February, 2012 Slovenia Loaned by Zlatorag Lasko to Union Olimpia Ljubljana for the remainder of the season.
29th February, 2012 Slovenia Suspended by Zlatorag Lasko for failing to report to training.
6th March, 2012 Slovenia Left Zlatorag Lasko.
12th October, 2012 Croatia Signed a four year contract with Cedevitz Zagreb.
2014 NBA Draft NBA Drafted 16th overall by Chicago.
2014 NBA Draft NBA Draft rights traded by Chicago, along with the draft rights to Gary Harris (#19) and a 2015 second round pick (#53, Sir'Dominic Pointer), to Denver in exchange for the draft rights to Doug McDermott (#11) and Anthony Randolph
10th July, 2014 Croatia Left Cedevita Zagreb.
23rd July, 2014 NBA Signed four year, $8,473,305 rookie scale contract with Denver. Included team options for 2016/17 and 2017/18.
11th October, 2015 NBA Denver exercised 2016/17 team option.
11th October, 2016 NBA Denver exercised 2017/18 team option.
13th February, 2017 NBA Traded by Denver, along with a 2017 first round pick (#20, Harry Giles), to Portland in exchange for Mason Plumlee, a 2018 second round pick and cash.
When: Where:
2010 - February 2012 Zlatorag Lasko (Slovenia)
February 2012 Olimpia Ljubljuana (Slovenia)
February 2012 - March 2012 Zlatorag Lasko (Slovenia)
October 2012 - July 2014 Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia)
July 2014 - February 2017 Denver Nuggets (NBA)
February 2017 - present Portland Trail Blazers (NBA)
From blog:

   Golden State and Portland recorded almost identical post-All Star game records, but only one of them has more in reserve

We have looked at the Blazers a couple of times this season. The first was back in November, after they had limped out to a slow start lacking much in the way of interior play, strength around the basket and toughness, and were struggling to ingratiate the highly expensive Evan Turner in a guard-heavy, drive-and-kick offense. The second was just after the trade deadline, a trade deadline at which they had traded the closest thing that they had to said interior toughness, Mason Plumlee, to Denver in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic and a first round pick.

It was that Plumlee/Nurkic trade that got them here. Eight games under .500 at the time of the trade, the Blazers went 18-10 to finish the season, including a 13 out of 16 span (itself featuring a 6-1 record versus other playoff teams). The Blazers scored an awful lot of points over that stretch, and Nurkic's addition was a large part of why. In his 20 games thus far with the team, Nurkic has averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes per game, shooting 50.8% from the field and sporting a 21.2 PER. And this was for the team that was supposed to be the sellers in that deal.

The Nurkic trade, strangely, did wonderful things for the Blazers’ defense as well. They have had the tenth best defensive rating in the NBA since the time of the trade compared to 21st overall for the entire season, a marked improvement, and have achieved an 18-8 record since the All-Star game. For comparison’s sake, the Warriors have gone 20-8 over the same period.

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   2017 NBA Manifesto

Jusuf Nurkic
C, 7’0, 280lbs, 23 years old, 3 years of experience

Absolutely tremendous end to the season, on both ends of the court, and his acquisition was a season-saver (if such a thing can be said of a first round sweep). Nurkic was dealt by Denver because he was unhappy with his bench role, not because he wasn’t talented; a motivated, happy Nurkic does a bit of everything. Shoring up the interior defence, providing more interior offence than Plumlee et al ever could, and immediately able to work with both Lillard and McCollum, Nurkic is a vital piece going forward, and the monies spent elsewhere must not prohibit spending more on him as well.

Player Plan: One year of rookie scale salary remaining. Eligible for an extension, but has only a part season of excellence under his belt, so he might want more than he is proven to give. On the flip side, if he has an excellent year and goes to free agency, it could get pricy.

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   NBA Fantasy Preview - 26th October 2017

The trade-off with Nurkic is that, for all the points and rebounds he scores, flanked with useful if not enormous assist and blocks numbers, the very high turnover rate will slightly undermine it. So far on the young season, Nurkic is averaging 4.0 turnovers per game, largely through passing errors. Nevertheless, despite this and still not yet being his best yet, Nurkic averages 12.8 points and 7.8 rebounds on the season, and has an awful lot more still to come. Buy on him now when still cheap and reap the rewards once the breakout game comes.

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   NBA Fantasy Preview - 24th October 2017

Nurkic is averaging 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks per game on the season thus far, and he’s not even doing that well. Turning it over at 4.3 times per game and shooting only 35.1% from the field, there is a lot of production to be had from Nurkic at his peak, as evidenced by his part-season run with the Blazers last year. A productive Nurkic is a triple double threat who can go for 20/10 any night, and yet he is available for a million less than Tristan Thompson. Take that value.

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   NBA Fantasy Preview - 2nd November 2017

Nurkic has not been the same player he was last season. He is averaging 13.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 blocks per game, which is pretty good, but in doing so, he is missing a large number of shots (a lowly 41.8% field goal percentage from a centre) and turning it over a ton (3.0 turnovers per game). Nevertheless, he posted his strongest individual game of the season last night – his 19 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks, so we might have witnessed the awakening of the kraken. Additionally, Nurkic’s match-up tonight, at least for the majority of his time on the court, is most likely to be Brook Lopez. Lopez has long been known to get lazy on defence. This match-up is favourable to the Blazers, who need to get Nurkic going, and who need to win games like this. Feed the big man.

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   NBA Fantasy Preview - 13th November 2017

Some streakiness excepted, Nurkic is playing fairly well on the season, averaging 15.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks per game in only 27.0 minutes a contest. He would play more if he fouled less, but he is headed the right way, averaging 19.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks per game in November.

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   NBA Fantasy Preview - 7th November 2017

The breakout we had been predicting has started. Nurkic has posted 49.1, 47.5 and 45.2 fantasy points in his last three games, scoring 24.0 actual points per game in that time while piling up the assists in every category. Looking healthy and spry again, Nurkic seemingly needed some game time after a summer off, and after having finished last season stricken with injury. Now that he’s had it, he is looking back to his best.

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   NBA Fantasy Preview - 5th December 2017

Nurkic has hit a relative purple patch, recording a 32.2 fantasy point average over his past six games, fuelled by versatile stat-lines punctuated by an uptick in his scoring rate. The Blazers need Nurkic to be better offensively than he is - the 15.1 points per game he scores come on a high 13.6 field goal attempt per game rate and a lowly .490% true shooting, and the turnovers remain high at 3.1 per game. Nurkic is still impatient in the post and flicks the ball towards the rim impulsively rather than reading the defence, making more impactful moves or taking the contact to power the ball in. Yet because the Blazers need him both now and in the future, he will continue to be fed the ball and given opportunities to develop. Which means he will continue to put up good scoring numbers. Which means we should be interested in him from a fantasy point of view.

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