Jusuf Nurkic: Leader of the frontcourt in Portland

Portland Trail Blazers Jusuf Nurkic (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Portland Trail Blazers Jusuf Nurkic (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Bosnian center Jusuf Nurkic has found his home with the Portland Trail Blazers, and became the voice that leads the frontcourt.

Over the years, the Portland Trail Blazers have had many big men that defined the game and lead the team to success. From the Bill Walton leading the Portland Trail Blazers to their first championship in 1977, to Rasheed Wallace leading the team to success in the 1990’s to LaMarcus Aldridge being a seven-time NBA All-Star.

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Recently, it seems that another big man has made some headlines with the Portland Trail Blazers and has become the leader of their front court, and the leader’s name is Jusuf Nurkic.

Jusuf Nurkic, also known as the Bosnian Beast, came into the NBA when he was drafted by 2014 by the Chicago Bulls, but was later traded on draft night to the Denver Nuggets. During his time in Denver, he was not putting up the numbers that we have seen from him today.

According to ESPN.com, Nurkic would only average stats that are not worthy of a starting center as they would be single digit stats per game. During the 2017 season, Nurkic would be traded to Portland Trail Blazers in a three team deal with the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzles. Since that trade, he would grow and his stats would improve.

During the 2017-18 NBA season, the Bosnian Beast would explode into the picture as the Portland Trail Blazers center and would put up All-Star level stats with double digit numbers in points, rebounds, and free throw percentage.


Nurkic would sign a four year, forty eight million dollar deal in 2018  to remain with the Portland Trail Blazers and when the news broke about him signing the deal, Trail Blazer fans would finally say that they have found their leader at the front court position.

Now, injuries have fallen on the young center, but with the NBA’s 2019-20 return coming up in a matter of week and a chance for Jusuf Nurkic to prove why he is the leader of the front court, he can prove why he is a vital piece to Trail Blazers offense and defensive sides of the ball.

With his style of play on offense, it opens up the three point arc and allows shooters, such as CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony, to get open and cause a lane in which Damian Lillard can get smooth or tough finishes at the basket.

On defense, when he contests against some of the big men in the league today, he has a tough stance, great speed and hands to either get the huge block, steal or defensive rebound.

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Overall, Jusuf Nurkic has proven himself worthy of returning to the starting position when the NBA restarts and Nurkic will be able to be the voice of the front court once again, but will it be enough for the Trail Blazers to win it all this season? I guess we will have to wait and see.