By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Damian Lillard’s trade request from the Portland Trail Blazers, with the Miami Heat reportedly as his preferred destination, has caused a stir in the NBA league. However, it appears that another player, Jusuf Nurkic, could potentially leave Oregon this summer as Portland explores adding him to trade packages involving Lillard, according to Michael Scotto from HoopsHype.
Nurkic is owed $54.4 million over the next three seasons, and Portland could be looking to unload his contract.
Given that their combined salaries for the upcoming season amount to approximately $62.4 million, it is likely that a third team would need to be involved in the trade. This is because championship contenders interested in Lillard are unlikely to part with players on veteran max contracts.
The 28-year-old Bosnian big man has been the starting center for the Portland Trail Blazers for over six seasons. During the 2022-23 season, he maintained averages of 13.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game.
Having previously played for the Denver Nuggets, Nurkic has shown significant growth as a passer within the Blazers‘ offensive system. Additionally, he has surprised many with his reliable three-point shooting, making 36.1% of his attempts on 2.3 shots per game last season.
Nurkic, known as “The Bosnian Beast” in the US, began his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets after playing professionally for Cedevita and Zadar in Croatia. He spent three years in Denver before being traded to Portland in exchange for Mason Plumlee.