Jusuf Nurkic
Jusuf Nurkic
26-Year-Old CenterC
Portland Trail Blazers
2020 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $48 million contract with the Trail Blazers in July of 2018.
Personal Bio

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.

College/International Summary

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.

Ready for Game 5
CPortland Trail Blazers
Thumb
May 31, 2021
Nurkic has a bruised left thumb but will be available for Tuesday's Game 5 at Denver, Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest reports.
ANALYSIS
The 26-year-old apparently suffered the injury during Game 4 on Saturday, but the issue isn't serious enough to saddle him with an injury designation for Tuesday. Nurkic has averaged 13.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 blocks in 29.3 minutes across the first four games of the series.
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Past Season Summaries
2019

Nurkic appeared in eight regular season games for the Blazers in 2019-20 -- all of which came inside the Orlando bubble during the NBA restart. Nurkic missed the team's first 66 games while recovering from a leg injury suffered in March of 2019. Nurkic made his season debut on Jul. 31 against Memphis, playing 33 minutes and finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and six blocks. Two nights later, he erupted for 30 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals in a matchup against Boston. He snatched 19 rebounds to go with 18 points, three assists, and three blocks in an Aug. 4 win over Houston. Nurkic capped seeding play with a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double in a win over Brooklyn. In the playoffs, Nurkic started all five of the Blazers' first-round contests against the Lakers. In Game 1, he posted a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double -- one of his three double-doubles in the series. Over the five games, Nurkic averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals.

2018

In his fifth NBA season, Nurkic enjoyed the best statistical year of his career. He started all 72 games in which he appeared -- topping 70 games for the second time in his career. Nurkic averaged career highs in nearly every major category, including points (15.6), rebounds (10.4), and assists (3.2) per game. The Bosnian big man knocked down a career-high 50.8 percent of his field goals and 77.3 percent of his free throws, and he played a career-high 27.4 minutes per game. In a Jan. 1 victory over the Kings, Nurkic turned in one of the most impressive stat lines of the season, scoring 24 points and pulling down 23 rebounds to go with seven assists, five steals, and five blocks. On Jan. 16, Nurkic recorded his first career triple-double, putting up 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Nurkic recorded 36 double-doubles on the season, including two streaks of five straight double-doubles in October and March, respectively. Nurkic's season came to an early end on Mar. 25, when he suffered a fractured leg during a win over the Nets. In that game, Nurkic had 32 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals in 34 minutes. He remained sidelined throughout Portland's run to the Western Conference Finals.

2017

Playing his first full season in Portland, Nurkic took his game to an entirely new level. The former Nugget started every one of his career-high 79 games. His 26.4 minutes per game were five minutes more than he averaged a season earlier and a new-career-best mark. Nurkic was involved more offensively with the Blazers than he ever was during his two-plus years in Denver. His 12.0 field goal attempts shattered his previous career-high (8.2 per game). The result was Nurkic averaging a career-high 14.3 points to go along with a career-best 9.0 rebounds. He posted 27 double-doubles, including a monstrous 14-point, 20-rebound (seven offensive) effort in a win over the Clippers on Jan. 30. Nurkic shot better than 50.0 percent (50.5) from the field for a second straight season in addition to posting better than one block (1.4) per game for a fourth consecutive year. Nurkic's per-36-minute numbers -- 19.5 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks -- were also strong.

2016

Nurkic began his third season in the NBA with the Nuggets, starting 29 of 45 games he appeared in. The emerging big man averaged 8.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per contest while in Denver. He collected four double-doubles while a member of the Nuggets, including a 13-point, 18-rebound, five-block performance at Toronto on Halloween. At the trade deadline, Nurkic was swapped for Mason Plumlee in a 1-for-1 trade between the Trail Blazers and Nuggets. Nurkic shined in 20 games (19 starts) during the remainder of the regular season. Playing nearly 30 minutes per contest, Nurkic averaged a double-double with 15.2 points and 10.4 rebounds. He tallied double-doubles in nine of the first 20 games of his Trail Blazers career. He grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds against Philadelphia on Mar. 9. Nurkic scored a career-best 33 points against his former Denver squad Mar. 28. A broken leg sidelined him following Mar. 30, and he appeared in one playoff game for Portland, Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Nurkic notched two points, 11 rebounds, four assists and one block during that contest.

2015

Nurkic played in 32 games in his second NBA season with the Nuggets. After battling a back strain, he made is season-debut on Jan. 2 with a brief appearance during a close loss at Golden State. Four nights later, during a win at Minnesota, the Bosnian big man double-doubled with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks over 22 minutes of run. The 21-year-old was able to play 17.1 minutes per game and averaged 8.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest. His best game of the year came Apr. 8, when he posted a double-double with a season-high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. It was one of four double-doubles for the center. Nurkic managed double-digit scoring in 10 other games, including a 19-point effort on Mar. 27. He grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds against Portland on Apr. 13 and had three other games with 10 or more rebounds. Nurkic also had a season-high five swats in a win over Minnesota on Jan. 6. He had 11 other games with at least two blocks.

2014

As a rookie in Denver, Jusuf Nurkic appeared in 62 games, making 27 starts and averaging 6.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over 17.8 minutes per contest. The big center made his NBA debut on Oct. 29 and produced five points and seven rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench. He registered his first career double-double against the Bulls on Jan. 1, going for 10 points and 10 rebounds, with three blocks, in 21 minutes. Nurkic followed up that performance with another double-double on Jan. 3 against the Grizzlies. In a matchup against Golden State on Apr. 15, Nurkic scored a season-high 17 points, to go with nine rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. For the season, Nurkic scored in double-figures 18 times, and he had seven double-digit-rebound games. Denver finished the year at 30-52 and missed the post-season.

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Transaction History
  • June 26, 2014
    Drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 1st round (16th pick) of the 2014 NBA Draft.
  • July 31, 2014
    Signed a multi-year rookie contract with the Denver Nuggets
  • February 13, 2017
    Traded by the Denver Nuggets with a 2017 1st round draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for Mason Plumlee, cash, and a 2018 2nd round draft pick.
  • July 6, 2018
    Signed a four-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Jusuf Nurkic
Jokic is No. 1 in Early Top-150 for 2021-22
16 days ago
Nikola Jokic edges out Stephen Curry for the top spot in our early 2021-22 season-long fantasy rankings.
NBA Playoffs: Round 2 Preview
20 days ago
The Jazz vs. Clippers series finally kicks off Tuesday.
FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays
21 days ago
Assuming he suits up, Anthony Davis may hold the key to the Lakers' chances of staying alive and forcing a Game 7.
Yahoo DFS Basketball: Tuesday Picks
23 days ago
Damian Lillard is coming off of a rare off-night in Game 4. Can he bounce back and help the Blazers grab control of the series?
FanDuel NBA: Tuesday Value Plays
23 days ago
Juan Carlos Blanco checks out Tuesday's slate as Jaysom Tatum and the Celtics try to force a Game 6 against the Nets.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
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
Double-double in loss
CPortland Trail Blazers
May 28, 2021
Nurkic accumulated 13 points (5-10 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 13 rebounds, six assists and one block in 31 minutes before fouling out of Thursday's 120-115 loss to the Nuggets.
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Fouls out after 13-rebound effort
CPortland Trail Blazers
May 25, 2021
Nurkic posted seven points (2-8 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 13 rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot across 25 minutes in Monday's 128-109 loss to the Nuggets.
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Double-doubles in Game 1 victory
CPortland Trail Blazers
May 23, 2021
Nurkic ended with 16 points (7-10 FG, 2-3 FT), 12 rebounds, five assists and one steal in 33 minutes during Saturday's 123-109 victory over the Nuggets.
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Posts 14th double-double
CPortland Trail Blazers
May 17, 2021
Nurkic registered 20 points (8-10 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 3-6 FT), 13 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 20 minutes during Sunday's 132-116 win over the Nuggets.
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Double-doubles in Wednesday's win
CPortland Trail Blazers
May 12, 2021
Nurkic managed 11 points (3-14 FG, 5-8 FT), 15 rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks during Wednesday's 105-98 win over Utah.
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