Jusuf Nurkic has been quoted saying that he was told the Portland Trail Blazers will make no trades this summer, leaving their coaching change from Terry Stotts to Chauncey Billups as their primary off-season move. The English translation of his quote comes from alugy.com, but it can be found in Bosnian on klix.ba as well.
Google Translator and Alugy both render Nurkic’s quote thus:
“In the last game of the season, I said that change must happen. In four years, we only had one West final, which is relatively small for a team like Portland. There are people above you to decide who will stay and who to bring, because the NBA is the biggest business there is, “says Nurkic and continues:
“As far as I am concerned, I was told that no one will be traded and that only the coach will change,” says Nurkić.
Nurkic also commented on reported unrest from fellow Blazers star Damian Lillard, prompted by an article by Chris Haynes.
“I don’t know what has changed with Lillard in these two days. As far as I know, the man stays there, but if he goes, then I leave Portland as well. My opinion is that it would be stupid to let such a loyal man as Lillard go,” Nurkic said.
Nurkic is slated to play the 2021-22 season on the last year of a multi-year contract that will pay him $12 million. The contract is not guaranteed.
Last week, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix explained that he believes CJ McCollum has received a message similar to the one that Nurkic detailed.
When asked about the Celtics’ potential interest in McCollum during an appearance on NBC Sports Boston, Mannix delivered this response:
“I should first say, from what I’ve been told, CJ McCollum has been told he’s not getting traded this offseason, so it may be a moot point, but I think CJ is the kind of player that would complement Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown well,” Mannix said.
McCollum is under contract with the Blazers through the 2023-24 season.
Blazer’s Edge community member @FilipPDX has provided a translation of Nurkic’s original audio.
“I have said it in my Exit (interview) after the game that changes are a must, a must. In 4 years, and with my injuries, whe have had just one Western Finals appearance, which for the team like we have, is relatively little.
No one wants to chase you out or fire you but there are people above us who will decide how to move forward, who to keep and who to bring, and you all know that that’s a bigger business than anything else.
As far as I’m concerned, I was told, like everyone else in the club, that no one will be traded, that there will not be changes other than the coach who was gone within 2 days. They hired a new coach as far as I know.
However, I don’t know what changed from yesterday to today with Lillard, the man is staying here, I don’t see any problems there. If he leaves then I believe that I’m gone as well, as they won’t need me any more.
However, I think that it would be stupid to change something when what you have is the best and most valuable thing to you, from loyalty and so forth