Considering how wide-open the 2021 NBA Championship appears to be at the moment, the Blazers have got to be kicking themselves for their poor performance in Round 1.
Nonetheless, the team is already working on ways to improve. After firing coach Terry Stotts, they have begun interviewing candidates of a list that includes Chauncey Billups, Becky Hammon, and Mike D'Antoni.
Unfortunately, they've still got some pretty big issues to work out, not the least of which is Jusuf Nurkic and his apparent unhappiness with his team. In a report by Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, the gifted big man's future is up in the air after expressing displeasure with his role.
“Nurkic hasn’t been happy with his role there. He was asked at the end of their season if he wanted to be back next season and he replied, ‘In the right situation, yes.’ The follow-up to that was what’s the right situation? He said, ‘We’ll see. I don’t know yet because this is not it.’ He has a non-guaranteed $12 million salary next season and people around Nurkic think Portland is going to keep him at that salary.”
Nurkic isn't a top-tier star, by any means, but he is one of the best centers in the NBA at the moment, thanks to his unique and versatile passing and playmaking ability.
On the right team, he could be the piece that pushes them over the top.
For Portland, losing him would be a pretty big deal, as replacing what he produced for the team isn't an easy thing to do.
Among a sea of talented names, Nurkic is one that the NBA world should keep its eye on this offseason. He has the talent to move the needle for any team in the league.