The Trail Blazers made a splash on Thursday by agreeing to acquire Norman Powell from the Raptors. They’ll also add another key piece in-house, as center Jusuf Nurkic is ready to return from a lengthy absence. The big man tweets he’ll be in the lineup against the Magic on Friday.
The 6-11 Nurkic missed nearly the entire 2019-20 season due to a major leg injury suffered late in the previous season. He’s averaging 9.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 2.8 APG in 12 games (23.3 MPG) this season. He enjoyed a career year, averaging 15.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG and 3.2 APG, in 2018-19 before fracturing his left leg.
Nurkic has a partially guaranteed base salary of $12M next season. He’s guaranteed $4M, and the Trail Blazers will have to decide whether to give him a full guarantee this summer.
Enes Kanter, who is averaging 12.1 PPG and 11.6 RPG, will return to a second-unit role with Nurkic back in action.