Players > Phoenix Suns > Jusuf Nurkic
Jusuf Nurkic
C - 7'0, 290lbs - 29 years old - 9 years of NBA experience
Phoenix Suns - Acquired via trade in September 2023
  • Birthdate: 08/23/1994
  • Drafted (NBA): 16th pick, 2014
  • Pre-draft team: Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia)
  • Country: Bosnia/Slovenia
  • Hand: Right
  • Agent: Aylton Tesch (Dynasty Sports)
20th February, 2012SloveniaLoaned by Zlatorag Lasko to Union Olimpia Ljubljana for the remainder of the season.
29th February, 2012SloveniaSuspended by Zlatorag Lasko for failing to report to training.
6th March, 2012SloveniaLeft Zlatorag Lasko.
12th October, 2012CroatiaSigned a four year contract with Cedevitz Zagreb.
2014 NBA DraftNBADrafted 16th overall by Chicago.
2014 NBA DraftNBADraft rights traded by Chicago, along with the draft rights to Gary Harris (#19) and a 2015 second round pick (#53, Sir'Dominic Pointer), to Denver in exchange for the draft rights to Doug McDermott (#11) and Anthony Randolph
10th July, 2014CroatiaLeft Cedevita Zagreb.
23rd July, 2014NBASigned four year, $8,473,305 rookie scale contract with Denver. Included team options for 2016/17 and 2017/18.
11th October, 2015NBADenver exercised 2016/17 team option.
11th October, 2016NBADenver exercised 2017/18 team option.
13th February, 2017NBATraded by Denver, along with a 2017 first round pick (#20, Harry Giles), to Portland in exchange for Mason Plumlee, a 2018 second round pick and cash.
6th July, 2018NBARe-signed by Portland to a four year, $48 million contract.
Career Moves
2010 - February 2012Zlatorag Lasko (Slovenia)
February 2012Olimpia Ljubljuana (Slovenia)
February 2012 - March 2012Zlatorag Lasko (Slovenia)
October 2012 - July 2014Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia)
July 2014 - February 2017Denver Nuggets (NBA)
February 2017 - presentPortland Trail Blazers (NBA)
Articles about Jusuf Nurkic

August 27, 2018

[...] Legitimately good players were available for low prices. Some stand-out examples include Lopez (who took only a bi-annual exception for one year from Milwaukee, quite the pay cut from his $22,642,350 last season), O'Quinn (who did not deliberately opt out of a $4,256,250 one year player option just to sign a one year $4,449,000 but found he had little choice), Alex Len (who signed a mere two year, $8.5 million contract with the team closest to his own name despite how good he was at times last year) and Nurkic (a restricted free agent post player like Capela, who, like Capela, seemingly drew no significant-enough offers from other teams). And some got even less attention than that - after being waived by the Pacers, Al Jefferson went to China, while Lucas Nogueira has not signed at all. Which might explain why he has changed agency.[...]

[...] Miles [Plumlee] signed his deal in the summer of 2016, a year of significant overspend, particularly at the frontcourt spots. Mason was signed in the summer of 2017, when there was still some residual cap excess to be had. The summer of 2018, though, had no such overage. It is telling that Mason Plumlee signed for more per year than the man he was traded for (and the man who latterly easily surpassed him on the court), Jusuf Nurkic, to the tune of $13.7 million per year compared to $12 million. Such is the difference between the 2017 and 2018 centre markets.[...]

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June 29, 2017

Jusuf Nurkic
C, 7’0, 280lbs, 23 years old, 3 years of experience

Absolutely tremendous end to the season, on both ends of the court, and his acquisition was a season-saver (if such a thing can be said of a first round sweep). Nurkic was dealt by Denver because he was unhappy with his bench role, not because he wasn’t talented; a motivated, happy Nurkic does a bit of everything. Shoring up the interior defence, providing more interior offence than Plumlee et al ever could, and immediately able to work with both Lillard and McCollum, Nurkic is a vital piece going forward, and the monies spent elsewhere must not prohibit spending more on him as well.

Player Plan: One year of rookie scale salary remaining. Eligible for an extension, but has only a part season of excellence under his belt, so he might want more than he is proven to give. On the flip side, if he has an excellent year and goes to free agency, it could get pricy.

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April 16, 2017

We have looked at the Blazers a couple of times this season. The first was back in November, after they had limped out to a slow start lacking much in the way of interior play, strength around the basket and toughness, and were struggling to ingratiate the highly expensive Evan Turner in a guard-heavy, drive-and-kick offense. The second was just after the trade deadline, a trade deadline at which they had traded the closest thing that they had to said interior toughness, Mason Plumlee, to Denver in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic and a first round pick.

It was that Plumlee/Nurkic trade that got them here. Eight games under .500 at the time of the trade, the Blazers went 18-10 to finish the season, including a 13 out of 16 span (itself featuring a 6-1 record versus other playoff teams). The Blazers scored an awful lot of points over that stretch, and Nurkic's addition was a large part of why. In his 20 games thus far with the team, Nurkic has averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes per game, shooting 50.8% from the field and sporting a 21.2 PER. And this was for the team that was supposed to be the sellers in that deal.

The Nurkic trade, strangely, did wonderful things for the Blazers’ defense as well. They have had the tenth best defensive rating in the NBA since the time of the trade compared to 21st overall for the entire season, a marked improvement, and have achieved an 18-8 record since the All-Star game. For comparison’s sake, the Warriors have gone 20-8 over the same period.

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