Portland Trail Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic Trade A Wise Maneuver

The Portland Trail Blazers have traded to acquire Jusuf Nurkic from the Denver Nuggets. It was a tremendous move by general manager Neil Olshey.

The Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the most disappointing teams of the 2016-17 NBA regular season. Despite making the playoffs in 2015-16 and making a splash in free agency, Portland is 23-31 through 54 games.

With the NBA trade deadline nearing, Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey has made a move that will help Portland in both the immediate and long-term future.

Portland has an explosive perimeter that includes stars Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, and quality reserves Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner. It also has high-quality defenders in Al-Farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless, but has struggled to find stability down low.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Trail Blazers have addressed that flaw by dealing Mason Plumlee to the Denver Nuggets for Jusuf Nurkic.

The Trail Blazers have thus solidified the future and improved the quality of the interior in one single trade.

Nurkic is a respected young player with upside, but Nikola Jokic overtook him as Denver’s future star at center. While Nurkic was nursing an injury in 2015-16, Jokic was steadily breaking out and solidifying his place as the Nuggets’ new franchise player.

As a result of this trade, both Nurkic and the Trail Blazers will have an opportunity to solidify their future.

Terry Stotts’ Portland Trail Blazers are a finesse team. Portland attempts to outclass its opponents by spacing the floor, trusting its stars, and playing a game that’s fun to watch, but doesn’t necessarily translate to the more rugged of scenarios.

By adding Jusuf Nurkic to the mix, the Trail Blazers have found a center who can provide the physicality that they’ve desperately needed.

When Nurkic gets the ball inside, he’s comfortable putting his shoulder into defenders and finishing at the rim. His post game needs polish, but the fact that he can get the Trail Blazers an easy two points from the low block is a benefit unto itself.

Nurkic is also a strong pick and roll dive man—1.14 points…