Jusuf Nurkic

Jusuf Nurkic

27-Year-Old CenterC
Portland Trail Blazers
GTD
Injury Foot
Est. Return 10/1/2022
2021 Fantasy Outlook
For the past two years, fantasy managers have been chasing Nurkic in hopes he could replicate his fantastic 2018-19 season, when he started 72 games and posted 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals in just 27.4 minutes per game. Injuries completely derailed Nurkic's 2019-20 campaign, limiting him to only eight appearances -- all of which came in the NBA bubble. After a strong showing in Orlando, Nurkic appeared poised to bounce back in 2020-21, but injuries again caused him to miss nearly half of the season, and he never fully returned to peak form. This season promises another fresh start for the 27-year-old, who will likely be set for a boost in minutes after seeing only 23.8 per game last season -- his fewest since 2016-17. But given the events of the past two seasons, Nurkic's health has to be a significant part of the calculation when gauging his fantasy value. The big man from Bosnia can likely be had at a discount in drafts, but managers should ensure they have a backup plan in place. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $70 million contract with the Trail Blazers in July of 2022.
Personal Bio/PreCareer Summary

Jusuf Nurkic, the son of Hariz Nurkic, didn't start playing basketball until he was 14 when discovered by a sports agent who read an article about his father, a 7-foot policeman in their hometown of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before coming to the NBA, Nurkic played for Cedevita Zagreb of the Adriatic League. He also represented Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 2014 Under-20 European Championship Division B in Sarajevo, helping his country to a tournament championship and capturing MVP honors. In Portland, Nurkic has invested his time and energy towards various charitable causes, working with the Trail Blazers Foundation and other corporate partners to unveil the first of numerous refurbished basketball courts in public parks around the Greater Portland community. He also donated over 800 game tickets last year to the city's Bosnian community and Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO). For those efforts, Nurkic was awarded the 2018-19 Maurice Lucas Award, given by the Trailblazers organization to the player who "best represents the indomitable spirit of Maurice Lucas through his contributions on the court and in the community, as well as in support of his teammates and the organization". You can follow him on both Twitter and Instagram @Bosnianbeast27. A native of Bosnia, Nurkic spent time in the Adriatic League prior to arriving in the NBA. In 2012-13, he averaged 3.6 points and 2.0 rebounds for Cedevita before being loaned to Zadar, where he posted 8.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game. The following year, Nurkic appeared in 58 games for Cedevita, putting up 10.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. He also played for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 2014 U-20 European Championship Division B. Across eight games, Nurkic averaged 21.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.6 blocks en route to leading his team to the championship and being named tournament MVP.

Re-signs with Portland
CPortland Trail Blazers
Foot
July 1, 2022
Nurkic (foot) and the Trail Blazers agreed to terms Friday on a four-year, $70 million contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Nurkic was shut down for the second half of the 2021-22 season as he recovered from plantar fasciitis, but he's expected to be back at full strength for 2022-23. After re-signing with the Trail Blazers on Friday, Nurkic figures to retain his role as the team's starting center for the foreseeable future. In 56 games last season, the big man averaged 15.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals across 28.2 minutes per contest.
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Seen as part of Blazers core
CPortland Trail Blazers
April 12, 2022
Nurkic was described as part of the Trail Blazers' "really intriguing core" Monday by general manager Joe Cronin, Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
The 27-year-old center is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but Cronin's comments are a sign the team will make a strong push to re-sign him. Nurkic played in only 56 games this season due to injuries, averaging 15.0 points and a career-high 11.1 rebounds per game.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
After recovering from a devastating leg injury that occurred toward the end of the 2018-19 season, Nurkic appeared in eight games -- all in the Orlando bubble -- during the 2019-20 season. He didn't miss a beat and averaged 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.4 steals in 31.6 minutes, forming an excellent duo with Damian Lillard. Heading into 2020-21, we should expect Nurkic to be the Trail Blazers' co-No. 2 option next to C.J. McCollum. He was clearly in that role during the 2018-19 campaign, when he ranked 34th in fantasy on a per-game basis in eight-category leagues. Potential improvement is still in the cards for the 26-year-old, as well, so fantasy managers could draft him in the third round hoping to cash in on his upside.
Nurkic had a great campaign in his second full year with the Trail Blazers. The big man set career highs in points (15.6), rebounds (10.4), assists (3.2) and steals (1.0) per game, as well as field-goal (50.8) and free-throw (77.3) percentage. He had some big games, dropping at least 20 points on 22 occasions, recording at least 15 rebounds nine times, handing out five or more assists in 20 contests, and blocking 5-plus shots four times. But no performance was bigger than his five-by-five on Jan. 1 against the Kings. Nurkic put up a historic 24 points, 23 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and five blocks across 38 minutes. Things came to a close quickly, however, as Nurkic suffered a fractured leg in late March. He underwent surgery soon after, and it remains somewhat unclear when he will take the court again. Early estimates indicate a possible February return, but even if that's the case, Nurkic will probably be eased back into action slowly. As a result, the big man doesn't have much fantasy value this season outside of a last-round flier. Portland shored up its center depth as well, adding Hassan Whiteside to the fold.
Fresh off signing a four-year, $48 million contract in early July, Nurkic enters the 2018-19 season with designs on a career-best campaign. The 2014 first-round pick enjoyed a solid 2017-18 campaign and encouragingly suited up for a career-high 79 games, but his numbers actually took a hit as compared to the 20 first games of his Portland tenure the year prior following a trade from the Nuggets. Nurkic still generated 14.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks last season over 79 games, putting up a career-high 12.0 shot attempts and logging the second-highest usage rate of his career (26.2). The big man’s work on the defensive glass was at elite levels as well, putting up the highest defensive rebounding percentage of his career (26.5) on his way to 27 double-doubles. Given his well-rounded talents, Nurkic slots in at a level just below elite at the center position for Fantasy purposes if he can steer clear of the injury bug.
The 16th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, 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.
As a rookie, Nurkic impressed with his rebounding and rim-protecting abilities, finishing the year with per-36 averages of 13.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 62 games. Injuries put a major damper on his sophomore campaign, however, as a lower-back strain caused Nurkic to miss the first two months of the season and 50 games in all. Nurkic made his debut on Jan. 2, but went on to battle wrist and hip injuries that would ultimately prevent him from ever establishing a rhythm. While his per-36 numbers were again strong, Nurkic converted just 41.7 of his field goals on a high volume (7.6 per game) relative to his workload (17.1 minutes per game). All indications are that Nurkic is back to full strength entering 2016-17 and is projected to serve as the undisputed No. 2 center behind Nikola Jokic after the team shipped Joffrey Lauvergne to Oklahoma City in the offseason, helping to clear room in what had become a crowded Denver frontcourt. While playing behind Jokic will limit Nurkic’s fantasy ceiling, his per-minute counting stat production has been outstanding when he's healthy, and coach Mike Malone showed a willingness to play the two big men alongside each other late last season. As a result, Nurkic is worth a look later in drafts with the hope that he plays his way into an expanded role.
Nurkic is one of the most exciting prospects for Nuggets fans as he showed a fearlessness last season that very few rookies possess. Through 62 games, he averaged 6.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, and 0.8 steals in 18 minutes per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 64 percent from the free-throw line. Nurkic often found himself in foul trouble, likely a symptom of his overt confidence and willingness to put his body into his work. In fact, he finished top-five in the league in fouls per minute and struggled to stay in games with his overly aggressive nature. If he can hone in his aggressiveness and focus on beating teams with his elite skills, Nurkic could become a big threat for the Nuggets. What people really love is his ability to play defense, as he provides blocks and steals at an elite rate for a big man. New Nuggets coach Mike Malone got DeMarcus Cousins to play hard on both ends of the floor while taking on an ever-increasing role as a leader, and maybe Malone can do that for this youngster who has a similar skill set with a lower ceiling.
Jusuf Nurkic was drafted by the Bulls with the 16th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and then traded to Denver, along with the 19th pick (Gary Harris), for Doug McDermott. Nurkic is a space eater at 7-0, 280. He can score around the basket and should be a good defender in the low post. He's just 19 years old and should have time to learn behind Timofey Mozgov, JaVale McGee, and J.J. Hickson at center. Nurkic will most likely be tied to the bench in his rookie season unless the Nuggets shake up their roster a lot this season.
More Fantasy News
Ruled out for rest of season
CPortland Trail Blazers
Foot
March 28, 2022
Portland announced Monday that Nurkic (foot) will miss the remainder of the 2021-22 season.
ANALYSIS
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Out at least four weeks
CPortland Trail Blazers
Foot
February 23, 2022
The Trail Blazers announced Wednesday that Nurkic will miss at least four weeks due to left foot plantar fasciitis.
ANALYSIS
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Pours in season-high 32 points
CPortland Trail Blazers
February 16, 2022
Nurkic ended Wednesday's 123-119 win over the Grizzlies with 32 points (12-17 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 7-10 FT), eight rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal over 34 minutes.
ANALYSIS
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Double-double train keeps chugging
CPortland Trail Blazers
February 14, 2022
Nurkic ended Monday's 122-107 victory over the Bucks with 23 points (7-16 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 16 rebounds, four assists and one steal in 30 minutes.
ANALYSIS
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Pulls down 20 boards in win
CPortland Trail Blazers
February 13, 2022
Nurkic closed Saturday's 112-103 win over the Knicks with 12 points (5-10 FG, 2-2 FT), 20 rebounds and six assists over 33 minutes.
ANALYSIS
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