Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic is enjoying the best season of his career and he doesn’t want to see it disrupted by a trade, writes Jason Quick of The Athletic. Along with averaging 14.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, Nurkic has provided a strong interior presence for a defense that was the league’s worst last season. Fivethirtyeight.com’s RAPTOR rating has Nurkic as the eighth-best defender in the league.
Even so, Nurkic is considered to be a trade candidate because of his $12MM expiring contract. He said Joe Cronin talked to him after taking over as interim general manager and promised to keep him as part of the core in Portland.
“Nothing is 100 percent, but I feel like for the team, and who I think I am as a player, there is no way I’m leaving (in a trade),” Nurkic said. “I don’t see anything possible. Obviously, I want to be part of this organization as long as (Damian Lillard) is, and as long as we want to win. But if the team wants to go in a different direction, then I’m willing to do whatever they want to do.”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The loss of Nassir Little, who may miss the rest of the season with a labral tear in his left shoulder, was a major disappointment for the Trail Blazers, notes Casey Holdahl of NBA.com. Little had established himself as a rotation player in his third NBA season and his first under head coach Chauncey Billups. “He didn’t play very much before I was here, or at least have a consistent role, so one of the things for him was to try to earn the trust of the coaching staff, and he did that,” Billups said. “And to earn the trust of his players, he did that.”
- Thunder forward Mike Muscala is considering right ankle surgery after the season ends, tweets Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Muscala has been dealing with pain in the ankle since suffering a stress fracture last season.
- Timberwolves coach Chris Finch says the team has “clean-up things to do” regarding the new defensive approach he implemented this season, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota has been a top-10 defense for most of the year, but has surrendered at least 110 points in eight of its last 10 games.
9 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Nurkic, Little, Muscala, Wolves”
Blazers backcourt needs a off load now if Cronin wants to retain Anf next FA… CJ or Powell needs to be traded for a D player cause if Nurk is staying you have to give him a hand for protecting the rim
Blazers, Kings and Pacers should not target the players from the following teams
They want to take advantage of other teams by using high asking price
Color me impressed. On topic, coherent, and largely correct. Well done Sillivan!
Don’t feed the bot
Someone said it in a another article but CJ to the Pelicans…
I don’t care at all for the Pelicans
But drawing up a trade I though Big Val, Josh Hart and Trey Murphy for CJ and a second rounder would look nice.
Blazers then line up something like
Dame Josh Hart Powell RoCo and Big Val with Simons Murphy Little Nance and Nurkic.
With Nurkic and RoCo on the trading block.
Hart and Val both have team friendly contracts and Trey Murphy just isn’t getting much opportunities.
In looking at Nurkic and RoCo trades I’d continue to pattern of going young and also trying to build something competitive.
Maybe Bertans and Hachimura?
The only players the Blazers should keep are Dame and Simons.
Still think Sabonis would be a great move for that nostalgia and his game.
RoCo and Nurkic need to be dealt for 1sts. Even if they are so-so firsts. They’d be needed in a Sabonis trade.
Nurkic to the Hornets for Plumlee and a 24′ 1st, which goes to the Pacers.
RoCo and DSJ to the Cavs for Rubio and a 22′ 1st, which goes to the Pacers.
Powell + the two firsts to the Pacers for Sabonis.
CJ to the Clippers for Bledsoe, Kennard, and 28′ 1st.
Dame – TBD
Simons – TBD
Kennard – TBD
TBD – Little
Sabonis – TBD
In the offseason you trade the expiring contracts of Plumlee and Nance and your 22′ 1st on draft night. You waive Bledsoe and eat 3.9M.
Possibly target a Harrison Barnes, Gallinari, Grant, or Bertans to provide that Stretch-4 to the line-up.
Like the first two deals to acquire the two first rounders and think they are realistic enough.
As for Sabonis I like the nostalgia and I like him game but I don’t think it’s worth all that your giving up. Your basically giving up RoCo, Nurkic and Powell for Sabonis.
If you compare Nurkic to Sabonis I don’t think there’s 2 first round picks worth of difference.
Nurkic 15-11-3, 30th in league for efficiency
Sabonis 19-12-5, 16th in league for efficiency
So after the first two deals I’d then go
CJ, Zeller and a first for Big Val, Josh Hart and Trey Murphy.
Then have a line up of
Dame Hart Little Nance and Big Val and a bench made up of Simons Murphy Powell Brown and Plumblee
Plus you have the extra first from the earlier trades
Atleast then if dame demands a trade also you can line up Dame and Powell for Simmons, Harris and 2 firsts.
Leaving themselves with Simons Hart Simmons Harris and Big Val and a bench made up of Murphy Little Brown and Nance. Plus three firsts
Nurkic is not having his best season, not even close.
The Blazerd are in a difficult spot. They have no assets that will bring back good players. Roco and Nurkic have no value as they are on low end expiring contracts, and if they do trade them that would gut their front court. Demand for CJ is weak as they’ve shopped him before and realized they’re better off keeping him. Norman Powell is a steal on a very friendly contract. The only hope the Blazers have of a decent offseason is the same reason Dame won’t play again this year. They need to tank. They get to keep their draft pick if they finish in the bottom 10. Otherwise they have no leverage (picks) to trade anyone. A Nurkic sign and trade with a top 10 pick may work. They could bank on Chauncey/Dame to recruit a free agent but the 2022 free agent list is terrible. It’s going to be interesting to see what they do with limited options.