Ex. Denver Nuggets big man finds new home in Blockbuster trade

Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Former Denver Nuggets center Jusuf Nurkic is headed to a new NBA home. On Wednesday afternoon, Nurkic was traded from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Phoneix Suns as part of the three-team blockbuster centered around Damian Lillard.

As part of the deal, Lillard headed to the Milwaukee Bucks, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

In return, the Blazers netted Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, and much more.

Nurkic spent his first few NBA seasons in Denver playing for the Nuggets. He appeared in 139 games for the Nuggets. During his tenure, he averaged 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Nurk’s time in the Mile-High City came to an end on February 13, 2017, when Denver moved the Bosnian big man to Portland. The move was essentially Denver’s way of electing to develop Nikola Jokic over Nurkic.

The Denver Nuggets made the right choice keeping Nikola Jokic

Well, duh.

Jokic has ascended into superstardom. He’s won two of the last three MVP awards, helped lead the Nuggets to a first-place finish out West last year, then captured the NBA title and Finals MVP in June.

His playoff run was unbelievable.

Jokic captured the attention of the basketball world this spring, averaging 30.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game while shooting 54.8 % overall and 46.1% from beyond the arc, as he and the Nuggets steamrolled their way to the Finals.

Had Denver elected to roll with Nurkic over Jokic, things could’ve gone differently to say the very least. Though Nurkic has improved since his days in Denver, he still doesn’t have the ability to dominate quite like The Joker.

He’ll now join the Suns and try and help them take down the Nuggets next season.

Next. 14 Players that the Nuggets Gave Up on Too Soon. dark