Aside from Cousins and DeAndre Jordan, two established All-Stars, Nurkić projected as one of 2018’s top free-agent centers. However, if his production or impact waned there were plenty of cheaper comparison points: Plumlee re-signed with Denver for $41 million over three years, Kelly Olynyk inked a four-year, $50 million deal with Miami, and Cody Zeller signed a 4-year, $56 million early extension in Charlotte. “I feel like the Blazers are very happy with Jusuf and Jusuf is very happy there,” Tesch, the agent, told The Crossover by telephone this week. “We had some [extension] talks but we decided to play it out this year and engage in talks again in July. He has already proven that he can help the team. There is a fit for Jusuf in Portland and he’s looking to stay there long-term.”
Storyline: Jusuf Nurkic Extension?
The Clippers and Kristaps Porzingis were linked briefly over the summer. A few weeks after Porzingis skipped his exit meeting, one of his social media accounts had a post proclaiming Clippers, showing three smiling emojis. What’s up with that? “I had no idea. I wish I had the answer. I was in Barcelona at that moment and one of my friends was like, ‘Yo, did you just tweet that?’” Porzingis said. “I was like, ‘It’s fake.’ Then, ‘Hold up, let me check on Twitter for sure. I checked Twitter and nothing was on Twitter because it was already deleted. Then I put in search, Porzingis, and that’s when everything showed up. I had no idea at all. I had both phones with me. Still until this day it’s a mystery what that was.”
Beverley has missed five straight games with a sore right knee. He has averaged 12.9 points, three assists and three rebounds for the Clippers this season. Los Angeles has struggled without its opening-night backcourt of Beverley and rookie Milos Teodosic. As Beverley plans his return on Monday, Teodosic’s return is still uncertain. He suffered an injury to his left plantar fascia in October and isn’t expected back in the near future.