ESPN The Denver Nuggets have reached agreement to get Mason Plumlee in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, sources confirm to ESPN. Portland gets 7-footer Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round draft pick but also sends Denver a second-rounder and cash. The deal was first reported by The Vertical.
The 2017 NBA Trade Deadline is fast approaching, and today the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets got in on the action, as the two teams agreeed to a trade that sends center Mason Plumlee and a second round pick to the Nuggets with the Blazers receiving center Jusuf Nurkic, a 2017 first round pick and cash.
I do not see how this trade makes sense for the Nuggets, they swapped their backup center for the Blazers starting center, and gave up a first round pick in a loaded draft so they must think Plumlee is a pretty big upgrade.
The Nuggets found a budding superstar in 21-year-old Nicola Jokic, and Jusuf Nurkic struggled to play alongside Jokic, the Nuggets must think that Plumlee is a much better fit alongside Jokic.
26-year-old Mason Plumlee is averaging career highs of 11.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game this season, however he becomes a restricted free agent this offseason, which makes this trade more puzzling from a Nuggets standpoint. He also becomes the second Plumlee brother to be traded this week, as his brother Miles was shipped from the Bucks to the Hornets, for Roy Hibbert and Spencer Hawes.
22-year-old Jusuf Nurkic is a bruiser, who is averaging 8.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season, and who will bring a physical presence to the middle of a soft Blazers starting five. Nurkic has a ton of talent, but he has struggled to find minutes alongside Jokic in Denver, so a change of scenery and more minutes will be beneficial for his development. Also, Jusuf Nurkic’s dad can beat up your dad.
The Nuggets must look as Mason Plumlee as a huge upgrade over Jusuf Nurkic, and while he is a better passer who is a better NBA player right now who should be able to play next to Nicola Jokic, I like this trade from a Blazers standpoint. The Blazers get a first round pick in a loaded 2017 NBA Draft, they get a younger and cheaper player who has a lot of potential, and who should flourish with more minutes.