NBA Rumors: Blazers Land Jusuf Nurkic, Trade Mason Plumlee To Nuggets

The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets don’t feel like waiting until the NBA’s Feb. 23 trade deadline.

The two teams completed a trade Sunday that involved the Blazers sending center Mason Plumlee and a 2018 second-round pick to Denver in exchange for Nuggets center Jusuf Nurkic and the Memphis Grizzzlies’ 2017 first-round pick, league sources told The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It’s the first significant deal of the NBA’s unofficial “trade season” and could have benefits for both clubs.

Plumlee was enjoying a career season in Portland, averaging 11.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as of Sunday. But the 26-year-old would have been owed a roughly $3.3 million contract extension next season, and dealing him could help the Blazers stay under the luxury tax.

Portland also adds frontcourt size in the 7-foot, 280-pound Nurkic. The 22-year-old was averaging just eight points and 5.8 rebounds in Denver this season, but he could benefit from a change of scenery and not fighting for touches with fellow big man Nikola Jurkic. The Blazers get a nice bonus in Memphis’ pick, as well — they now have three first-round selections in a loaded 2017 NBA Draft.

Thumbnail photo via Craig Mitchelldyer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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