Portland’s veteran center could hit the trade block

sports gates الإثنين 18 سبتمبر 2023 - 22:55

Nurkic has been a core member of the Trail Blazers rotation since joining the team in 2016. The veteran center provides playmaking from the center position, along with reliable rebounding and interior scoring. However, Nurkic has struggled with injuries in recent years. The 6-foot-11 big man hasn’t appeared in more than 60 regular-season games since 2019. 

At 29 years old, Nurkic is in his prime years. Yet, the Trail Blazers are entering a rebuild. The franchise needs young, high-upside players. Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson are the two young building blocks currently in place.

Portland is unlikely to get a haul in return for Nurkic. The veteran center has three years remaining on his $70M deal. Instead, Portland would likely be looking for a package built around draft assets or young players who need a new situation. 

Given Nurkic’s recent injury history, there will likely be some reservations about trading for him. Portland’s best route toward re-locating their veteran big man is to showcase him through the first half of the season. If Nurkic can remain healthy and produce at a high level, teams may be more inclined to acquire him at the trade deadline. 

A trade could be good for Nurkic. If the big man can find himself a bench role on a new team, it could ease the strain on his body, thus allowing him to be available for more games. Nurkic has been a starting big man for most of his career. Shifting into a smaller role against opposing second units could potentially prolong his NBA career. 

The Trail Blazers are sellers heading into the new season. With multiple veteran talents in need of a new situation, Portland’s decision to hit the reset button is best for everyone involved. Nurkic could thrive on a new team. 

This firesale is long overdue. 

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