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Kanter on Nurkic, ‘I see him as an All-Star’

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Returning reserve center Enes Kanter is a believer in the upside that his fellow Trail Blazers big man possesses.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Boston Celtics Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Enes Kanter is back with the Trail Blazers and he is making quick work of re-establishing rapport with his teammates. Earlier this week, Kanter explained that he is sold on Jusuf Nurkic’s place alongside the best centers in the NBA.

Kanter’s comments were highlighted by NBC Sports Northwest earlier this week. Those remarks centered on how the Blazers were legitimate title contenders with Nurkic in the fold and how the Bosnian big fella is positioned to earn an All-Star Game nod in the near future.

“I feel like two years ago if we didn’t lose Nurk we could’ve won a championship,” Kanter explained. “Nurk brings so much to the table… I always say it to the people around me – I see him as an All-Star.”

“I think this year he has a really good chance to make an All-Star. Two years ago, when I signed with Blazers after getting released by the Knicks, that was one of the things I was most excited about, to play alongside Nurkic. What he did in the Bubble after not playing a whole season, just shows what kind of player and what kind of human being he is.”

In the 2018-19 season, Nurkic averaged 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game prior to exiting competitions with a leg injury. Earlier this year, in the bubble, Nurkic appeared in eight regular season games and five postseason outings (plus a play-in matchup against the Grizzlies). In the playoffs, Nurkic averaged 32.2 minutes and 14.2 points per game.

With Kanter and Nurkic in the fold, the Blazers are poised to have one of the best center rotations in the NBA.