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Ranking Jusuf Nurkic Among This Summer’s Best Free-Agent Centers

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Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report ranks Nurkic No. 5 among the best free-agent centers.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA Draft over, the Portland Trail Blazers will turn their focus to NBA Free Agency. Portland’s free agency period will likely revolve around starting center Jusuf Nurkic, who is expected to hit restricted free agency. Ranking the best centers of this summer’s free-agent center class, Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report places him No. 5:

The Jusuf Nurkic roller-coaster ride is filled with dizzying highs and perilous lows.

He’ll string together clunkers in which he racks up turnovers, forces ill-advised, heavily contested shots around the basket and seems to pout on the defensive end. Then one game later—often, it seems, in a nationally televised contest—he’ll remind the world of his prodigious talent, dominating through sheer strength and showing off his touch until he’s firmly removed from head coach Terry Stotts’ dog house.

Maybe consistency would come with a more defined role. The Portland Trail Blazers had to depend a bit too much on his scoring talents when the backcourt studs were struggling, and their surge to defensive prominence didn’t always allow him to make the most of his defending talents.

Nurkic averaged 14.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game last season. There are rumors about him taking the Qualifying Offer from Portland given the lack of a market for centers and many teams without cap space.

Nurkic ranks above players like Nerlens Noel and Brook Lopez, and below players like DeAndre Jordan and DeMarcus Cousins.

You can read Fromal’s full rankings here.