Elsewhere in Portland, after initial trade conversations, Jusuf Nurkic appears unlikely to be moved, as the veteran center and Trail Blazers brass have mutual interest in agreeing to a new contract this offseason, sources said.
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The Raptors have searched for a center on the market and expressed interest in trading for several centers, including Jakob Poeltl, Myles Turner, Robert Williams, Nicolas Claxton and Jusuf Nurkic. Toronto has all its first-round picks looking ahead, which can be dangled as trade bait for a potential starting-caliber center. The Raptors have flirted with the idea of moving a first-round pick to re-acquire Poeltl, HoopsHype has learned. San Antonio is seeking a first-round pick and a quality player for Poeltl, according to Marc Stein. Poeltl is averaging career-highs in points (13.3), rebounds (9.0), and assists (2.8) this season.
Marc Stein: I think people look at Portland and assume that Nurkic is on the move. I haven’t heard his name mentioned a ton, to be honest, in recent weeks talking to other teams, I don’t sense that there’s a huge amount of interest in him.
Now that his moment is here, it is unclear how long it will last. The Feb. 10 trade deadline is approaching, and because he is in the last year of his contract and is playing at such a high level, he figures to garner interest around the league. No matter where he is after the deadline, he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, a position of power and freedom he has long desired. He says his gut tells him he will not be traded in February, and in his heart, he wants to remain in Portland beyond this season. The way he sees it, there is unfinished business here on and off the court. He wants to help find solutions to Portland’s homelessness problem. He wants to aid the restaurant scene impacted by the pandemic. And he wants to be there to unveil the new basketball court he built at the Islamic Bosniaks Education and Cultural Center in Southeast Portland.
Adrian Wojnarowski on the Blazers: They’ve been very active in the trade market. They want to continue to build around Damian Lillard. They’ve had discussions on players like Robert Covington or Jusuf Nurkic.
There are a lot of different ways the Trail Blazers’trade deadline can go whether it’s trading a very large salary like C.J. McCollum, or an expiring mid-sized contract like Robert Covington or Jusuf Nurkic. Atrade involving one Covington and Nurkic could easily get them below the luxury tax this season, while also getting rid of the obligation to re-sign them this offseason since they’re already pressed up towards the 2022-23 luxury tax.
Marc Stein: Based on my information, I don’t think (the Mavericks) are pursuing Nurkic at all. I think they want a big with more foot speed than what Nurkic could provide.
Royce Young: Jusuf Nurkic seemed very uncertain about his future with the Blazers going forward. Asked if he wants to be back he said, “In the right situation, yes.” What is the right situation? “We’ll see. I don’t know yet. Because this is not it.”
Sean Highkin: Jusuf Nurkic: “My contract is non-guaranteed so I don’t know if I’ll be back. I’ll let Rich Paul my agent figure that out. I don’t know if I’ll be back. I don’t know what the direction of the team will be.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Portland’s goal is to build around CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic. They’re not interested in trading any of those three players. They would love to bring another impact player to add to them.
Nurkic said he was fine with starting or coming off the bench, whatever his new coach decides. “I think it’s the perfect place for me,” he said about his new team. “They need me, and I need them.”
The Denver Nuggets have acquired center Mason Plumlee, a 2018 second round draft pick and cash consideration from Portland in exchange for center Jusuf Nurkić and a 2017 protected first round pick via Memphis, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.
The Portland Trail Blazers have 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, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. “We are pleased to add a young center with Jusuf’s talent and potential to our roster and excited by the prospect of three first round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft,” said Olshey. “We also want to thank Mason for his many contributions to the organization these past two seasons. His presence will be missed and we wish him all the best for the future.”
As for Plumlee’s replacement, the Blazers players said Sunday they don’t know much about their new teammate beyond what they’ve seen in games against Denver over the years. Nurkic, at 7-feet, 280-pounds, brings size, defensive potential and a different offensive dimension to Portland.
“I went in early to the facility to start cancelling my checkbook, my credit cards,’’ Plumlee said. “And someone said, ‘Neil wants to meet with you.’’’ When Plumlee arrived at the office of Neil Olshey, the Blazers’ president of basketball operations, coach Terry Stotts was also in the office. “They told me I wasn’t going to practice today,’’ Plumlee said. Plumlee, the Blazers’ starting center who was having a career season, had been traded to Denver for 22-year-old center Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first round pick.
Jamal Murray: Sad to see you go @Jusuf Nurkic my plane pal, and a good friend and teammate! Goodluck on your new team✊🏽
Jusuf Nurkic: Thanks to the opportunities you have given me in the Denver Nuggets. Former teammates, fans and the club I wish all the best. Now its time for new challenges! #RipCity instagram.com/p/BQbJFNlFWKu/
Jason Quick: Just talked to Mason Plumlee. His trade to Denver was only the start of a weird day. Story to come.
Jeff Goodman: Denver trades Jusuf Nurkic and 1st-rounder to Portland for Mason Plumlee, 2nd-rounder and cash, source told ESPN. First by @Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Denver Nuggets are sending center Jusuf Nurkic and a first-round draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for center Mason Plumlee, a second round pick and cash, sources told ESPN.com The trade gives the Blazers potentially three first-round picks in this year’s draft. The pick going from Denver to Portland is Memphis’ 2017 pick, which is only top five protected.
Darren Wolfson: FWIW: told #Twolves never talked to Denver about Nurkic. @Brian Windhorst 1st to note weeks ago that Thibs/Layden open to adding another big. – RT: HoopsHype: Nuggets, Blazers swap centers. http://bit.ly/2lDuxmr
Adrian Wojnarowski: Denver is trading center Jusuf Nurkic to Portland, league sources tell the @TheVertical.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Portland sends Mason Plumlee a 2018 second round pick for Nurkic and a 2017 first-rounder (via Memphis), league sources tell @The Vertical
Adrian Wojnarowski: Portland gets size/strength, spares paying Plumlee extension this summer; Denver gets a good passing center to play with Jokic.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources on @TheVertical: Portland sends Denver center Mason Plumlee and ’18 2nd-round pick for Jusuf Nurkic and ’17 first-rounder (via Griz)
Adrian Wojnarowski: Portland has three first-round picks in the loaded 2017 NBA Draft now.
Steve Kyler: Nothing new. The Carmelo stuff dominating the pipeline. Was told Nurkic and Nuggets working together to find him ideal new home. twitter.com/scomars/status…
Sources say that the Nuggets, having acknowledged that Nikola Jokic and Nurkic didn’t click as a pairing, are actively working to find Nurkic a new home that would give him the chance he deserves to be a front-line center.
.@stevekylerNBA heard any buzz about what type of deal nuggets want for Nurkic? Love for blazers to be in the running for him. Steve Kyler: I really have not heard much on Denver. They are believed to be sellers, but have no idea what they want.
The Nuggets, for the record, are now openly shopping third-year big man Jusuf Nurkic in addition to the widely assumed availability of vets Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler.
Nuggets coach Mike Malone has essentially come to the conclusion that he can play either Nurkic or Nikola Jokic, but not both. The team is much better offensively with Jokic on the floor, and the fact that Nurkic has not always carried an exemplary attitude makes him a pretty good candidate for a deal.
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August 10, 2022 | 11:40 am EDT Update
“The thing that people don’t realize is when you make decisions like that — so some people who don’t understand winning… would say, ‘But Brandon Ingram has been an All-Star, so that was the wrong move,’” Draymond Green said. “But if you understand winning, what I say is, ‘But they won a championship.’ So, regardless of what your thoughts could be on that topic, they won a championship, and that automatically trumps everything.” I’m not sure that team still wins if they keep B.I. over you [Kyle Kuzma] because of the skill sets,” Green said. “All of these pieces have to fit in. What you brought to that team…you and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were the shooters.”
“This is what I’ve been wondering, what the f— are you doing in the offseason?” Tracy McGrady said of Rudy Gobert. “Like, what is your workout? I was so mad at Rudy when they were playing against the [Houston] Rockets one year bro and Chris Paul was guarding him in the post. I was mad as s—. He couldn’t do nothing. Bro you’re 7’2″, and a point guard is guarding you. He had no moves.”
Quinton Mayo: Wizards forward Deni Avdija has tested positive for COVID, per source. As @Josh Halickman earlier reported, Avdija will not fly with the Israel National Team to Georgia for their two exhibition games on Friday & Saturday.
Clutch Points: Looks like Victor Oladipo is willing to try ANYTHING he can to make it to the Finals 🤣 (via victoroladipo/TikTok) pic.twitter.com/wrl5EP4oi6
August 10, 2022 | 9:55 am EDT Update
Michael Scotto: Sources: The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with guard Dakota Mathias, @HoopsHype has learned. Mathias had two 10-day contracts with the Grizzlies last season and was previously a two-way player for the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to NBA insider Brian Windhorst, after the news about the KD’s ultimatum became public, other NBA teams that are interesting in acquiring the superstar will lower their offers instead of increasing them which would further complicate the chances of the trade happening. “Doing it now is a maneuver, a maneuver that I don’t think worked because as I talk to teams out there, they don’t think this increased his trade demand. They think this hurt his trade value,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s This Just In.