Trail Blazers Trade Mason Plumlee For Jusuf Nurkic

FEBRUARY 13: The Nuggets and Blazers have officially completed their trade, according to a press release from Denver. The Nuggets get Plumlee, a 2018 second-round pick, and cash considerations from Portland in exchange for Nurkic and Memphis’ 2017 first-round pick.

FEBRUARY 12: The Trail Blazers will send Mason Plumlee and a 2018 second-round pick to the Nuggets in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round pick, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The first-rounder will be the Memphis pick that Denver owns.

The deal gives Portland three first-rounders is what is considered to be a strong draft. In addition to their own pick, the Blazers also own Cleveland’s first-rounder.

The trade also eases the luxury tax predicament for Portland, as Plumlee was set to become a restricted free agent this summer, notes Bobby Marks of The Vertical (Twitter link). The team wasn’t able to work out an extension with Plumlee before the October deadline. Portland still has about $130MM in guaranteed contracts for next season (Twitter link).

Plumlee was in the middle of his second season with the Blazers after two years in Brooklyn. He appeared in 54 games, all as a starter, and was averaging 11.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per night.

Nurkic, a third-year big man, began the year as a starter but was moved to the bench after a twin towers approach with Nikola Jokic was deemed a failure. He played in 45 games, starting 29, and was averaging 8.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. Denver exercised his team option for 2017/18 in October.

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42 thoughts on “Trail Blazers Trade Mason Plumlee For Jusuf Nurkic

  1. unsaturatedmatz

    Surprised that Denver would make this deal. Obviously Nurkic had to go, but seems like they gave up too much without solving anything besides averting one element of their team chemistry issues.

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    • Charles Murray

      We watched Nurkic all year to see if he would fit. His potential just didn’t grow and his attitude went down. I hope he is successful at Portland, because he is a beast. But Plumlee is a poor man’s Jokic, who is a superstar, and will fill in nicely with our second team in the same passing efficient manner.

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  2. HughJass

    Odd deal on the surface. Mason is a solid player, who I believe is still on his rookie deal. Is he a restricted FA this year? If so, and he has to get paid, then I like this deal for Portland. I think Nurkic could be every bit as good as Mason, and possibly better if he develops. He’s a skilled big, and he is under contract still.

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    • yoyo137

      Yeah Mason will be a restricted free agent this offseason and Portland wouldn’t be able to pay him with all the other extensions they handed out. Sucks seeing one of your favorite players go but I’m glad the Blazers front office is always looking to get better and be opportunistic.

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  3. weezlur11

    So is this denvers first round pick for 2017 or did the nuggets have multiples for this year?

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  4. Michael N

    I don’t see why Denver would do this deal? Is Mason that much of a upgrade over Nurkic.

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    • KCelts

      Like per game stats have Plumlee ahead of Nurkic, but Per 36 Minutes stats shows Nurkic ahead of Mason in both points and rebounding

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  5. M friend

    Don’t get this pick at all. Scheme fit is questionable at best…probably could have packed this pick and another with nurkic mudiay Murray and had a real run at Jimmy Butler

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  6. chrisgulko

    Mason Plumlee is a big upgrade I know because I I am a Nets fan and he could score 10 easily

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    • Most NBA players should be able to score 10 easily. And it’s not like Nurkic was slacking. He was averaging 8 coming off the bench, only 3 points less than Plumlee who was starting.

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  7. smittybanton

    Denver is committing to building around Nikola Jokic.

    Problem is, Jokic runs slow and cant jump. Has the worst defensive field goal percentage amongst centers–54%.

    All of the Plumlee’s runs fast and jump high. Also, Mason never gets hurt.

    I think Denver still has moves to make. They still have Fraried, Chandler, draft picks and a glut of guards. Jimmy Butler?

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    • As a big guy, you don’t have to have Deandre Jordan athleticism. Jokic IS a future star in this league. You know who else has very low in defensive field goal percentage? Karl Anthony Towns yet no one will call him out and say he’s a terrible defender. Jokic is young, it takes a little bit of time for centers to get everything together. He’s already one of the best passers and shooters for a big man. He’s only 21 and he is like a young Pau Gasol but even better.

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      • GuruGray

        I don’t think Smitty was trying to insult Jokic, just pointing out the flaws in his game at this stage of his career. Plumlee provides those things that Jokic currently struggles with. Jokic is clearly a stud, but Plumlee is a very solid young player as well.

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      • Honestly people do call out KAT for his mediocre defense. Its just you hear a lot more about how explosive and talented his offensive game is.

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  8. chrisgulko

    I like joltic he’s a good player I take him on a team he’s a good score

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  9. KCelts

    I don’t get this at all for Denver. Plumlee isn’t that great of an upgrade, if at all (believe me:m; I just saw Gerald Green take him to school a few nights ago). What’s even weirder is if I read his contract right on Basketball Reference, he’s a RFA at the end of the year. I’m pretty puzzled by what Denver is doing.

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    • MiggyCabby24

      Plumlee’s game fits Denver’s style of play, uptempo. He’s energetic, runs the court, and is a good rebounder and passer. Portland sometimes ran their offense thru Plumlee.

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  10. Krahril45

    Portland got way more in that deal. They barley had to give anything up. And the Plumlee brothers make everything bad for there teams

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    • Charles Murray

      Ask Lilliard about Plumlee. Denver looks to get character first, and Plumlee fits perfectly in the locker room.

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  11. Hen1CHC

    Not exactly sure why Denver would do this, on paper Plumlee and Jokic seem like similar players. Both athletic bigs that can pass but don’t stretch the floor incredibly well. Especially conserving the first round pick this seem like a W for Portland

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  12. Formerlyz

    Personally don’t like this move for either team, but Portland at least picks up the 1st rounder, and doesn’t have to worry about paying Plumlee as a RFA

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    • gmflores27

      It’s a great trade for the Blazers idk what you are talking about man

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      • Formerlyz

        Like I said, Portland won the deal for certain reasons, but I explained why I didn’t like it that much for them below. They got the asset and don’t have to pay Plumlee, but it is a downgrade

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        • Charles Murray

          Good luck with Nurk. We had him two years and he digressed and put on weight while Jokic became a superstar. Plumlee can now give Jokic some rest and keep the offense (4th in NBA) flowing. Similar asset passing game.

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  13. Heavy Artillery

    All you trailblazer fans that are insisting that this is a resounding portland win need to pump the breaks. Nurkic is okay but not a real high basketball i.q. he has terrible hands and gets in this black hole mode where if u throw the basketball in the paint to him its not coming back out. And that happens way too often. Hes had his moments expecially during his rookie year where he looked real good. But lately he hasnt played good or hard. Since the benching his body language has been horrible not celebrating big plays and pouting when he gets taken off the court. Honestly losing the 1st round pick hurts denver way more.

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    • Formerlyz

      Sounds like a remedial Whiteside…but ya, I really like Mason Plumlee, and did see it as a downgrade for Portland, especially their style, which is why I said I didn’t like it for either team…but Portland also got the 1st rounder and don’t have to worry about paying Plumlee in RFA and adding to their luxury tax bill

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      • Brad from Fairview

        They are near the cap, and I am guessing they want to cut salary and not pick up anything unless it’s an expiring contract

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        • That and they don’t have many attractive assets that they’d probably be willing to move. Plumlee would’ve been one. I doubt Lillard or McCollum would be on the table. After that, you’re hoping Orlando finds enough value in Crabbe and/or Turner…but given that Ibaka is a free agent at the end of the year it’s not worth the investment.

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  14. Brad from Fairview

    Plumlee is gonna make 10 Million more than our new guy, plus getting a 1st rounder, big win for Portland

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    • For a team that should be competing, it’s not going to do much for them considering only their pick will be a lottery pick. Their other two picks (barring an epic collapse) are likely to land outside the top 14 picks (i.e. outside the lottery), they’re not exactly appealing in a trade for a star. Plus, Portland is so far in the cap that any trade, for a star, would probably have to send McCollum or hope a team is willing to take Davis/Harkless/Leonard/Turner. Honestly, if I’m the Trail Blazers, I explore ways to trade some of their bad contracts by attaching one of Cleveland/Memphis’ picks to it. They’re not going to be able to move all of their bad contracts, but they could probably move two of those contracts by attaching a pick or picks to it.

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      • Connorsoxfan

        This draft is so loaded it doesn’t matter where the picks are. I’d like my odds if I was Portland.

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