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Jusuf Nurkic Ranked 15th Among Centers

Frank Urbina projected the top 30 centers for Hoops Hype. Portland’s starting center landed right in the middle.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Jusuf Nurkic had a solid year for the Portland Trail Blazers last season, averaging 14.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest. Solid numbers, but did the 24 year old Nurkic do enough to be projected as one of the top centers in the NBA next season?

Frank Urbina of Hoops Hype ranked the top 30 centers in the league, and he has Nurkic landing at number 15, squarely in the middle:

Nurkic’s 50.5 field-goal percentage is far too poor of a mark for a big man who doesn’t space the floor from three whatsoever. At times, the 7-footer throws up awkward flip shots in the paint instead of going up strong and drawing fouls. And his propensity for launching long mid-range jumpers instead of taking a few steps back and shooting threes is a killer for his efficiency.

Nevertheless, though there’s a lot Nurkic has to work on, he provides Portland with productive two-way play. He simply has to get more consistent.

Nurkic ranked just behind Indiana’s Myles Turner, Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas, and Memphis’ Marc Gasol. Immediately following Nurkic on the list are Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic, New York’s Enes Kanter, and Miami’s Hassan Whiteside.