Jusuf Nurkic has made quite a splash since donning the uniform of the Portland Trail Blazers last February. The Bosnian Beast got another nod today as ESPN released their list of Top 25 international NBA players, part of their #NBArank project. The Blazers center ranked 9th, right above New Zealander Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, right below Boston Celtics forward Al Horford of the Dominican Republic.
Of Nurkic, the ESPN staff said:
Nurkic showed flashes that he's capable of becoming the third cog the Blazers so badly need. An untimely injury and doomed opening-round matchup with the Warriors in the playoffs last season may have delayed enthusiasm, but there's reason to be optimistic in the Northwest as the Blazers outscored teams by 11.3 points per 100 possessions in more than 400 minutes with Nurkic on the floor alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. That pair was a whopping 15 points per 100 possessions worse when sharing the floor without Nurkic.
So far this season Nurkic is averaging 12.6 ppg and 7.8 rpg in 25.6 minutes for the Blazers, averaging 39.3% from the field.
Mikwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greece earned the top overall spot on the list.