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Jusuf Nurkic Loves Playing For Billups, Blazers

The big Bosnian has no ambitions to leave as long as Damian Lillard is around.

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

An up and down season has finally come to an end for Jusuf Nurkic who again suffered through periods of injury for the Portland Trail Blazers.

During today’s exit interview he said he still hoped to remain in Portland next season, helping Damian Lillard reach the NBA pinnacle. With three years and roughly $55 million remaining on his deal, a trade would be the only way the big man would leave.

Jusuf Nurkic, asked if he hopes to be back next year: “I don’t plan on leaving.” — Sean Highkin, Rose Garden Report.

Nurkic: “There’s rumors every year. I have my family calling me saying, ‘They’re saying this, they’re saying that.’ As long as Dame’s here we aspire to win and be a championship team, I’m a part of that.” — Highkin.

Along with his admiration for Lillard, Nurkic called out his appreciation for coach Chauncey Billups.

Jusuf Nurkic: “I love Chauncey. I love playing for him and being coached by him and his staff.” — Highkin

He also spoke of the difficulty both he and the team faced with injuries this season.

“We all try to put stuff together - but both years we fell short. Basketball is kind of a safe place but losing sucks. The injuries are harder than the basketball stuff. Having to go through the motions, it sucks.” - Nurk mentally missing so much time the last 2 years — Jacked Ramsays’ Danny Marang.

In 52 games this season, Nurkic put up 13.3 points on 36 percent three-point shooting, 9.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 blocks.