The Portland Trail Blazers introduced their new center, Jusuf Nurkic on Monday night before their game against the Atlanta Hawks one day after news broke that the team had acquired him from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Center/Forward, Mason Plumlee.
The Deal was as follows:
The Trail Blazers acquired center Jusuf Nurkic and the rights to Memphis’ 2017 first round draft pick from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Mason Plumlee, a 2018 second round pick and cash considerations.
The move for Portland was primarily about money which you can read about here. Plumlee will be missed in Portland. He was great in the locker room, a good teammate, and no one on the team got more out of his body and ability than Plumlee did over the last two-seasons. But, with the salary cap ramifications it's very unlikely Plumlee was going to return after the season. That is why Portland acted now to get something in return for Plumlee.
At 22 years old, Nurkic is raw and still learning the NBA game, but with his size and skill-level, he has great upside. Nurkic has the potential to be a dominant rebounder, and with this skill-level, he will provide the Blazers with a low-post scoring threat. He needs work on the defensive end, but his size will give the Blazers some intimidation in the paint and someone who can block shots.
I like the move by Neil Olshey. It comes with very little risk if Nurkic fails to develop, and at least they were able to pull a first round pick out of the deal for a player who was going to be gone at the end of the year.
Nurkic will likely be in uniform on Wednesday in Utah when the Blazers play their final game before the All Star break against the Utah Jazz.