One of the biggest storylines in the NBA this summer has been Damian Lillard’s trade demand and his desire to be sent to the Miami Heat.
While a report indicated the Portland Trail Blazers want to move Lillard before the start of training camp, there has been little, if any, progress made in that area.
But there is another Blazers player who has been brought up in trade rumors: veteran center Jusuf Nurkic.
John Gambadoro, per NBACentral, says the Phoenix Suns are one team interested in landing Nurkic.
“Vogel needs a defensive minded Center to build his defense around and Nurkic does fit that mold.”
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 21, 2023
The Suns have assembled quite a formidable roster over the last several months by mortgaging almost all of their draft picks, not to mention three good players in Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges, and Cameron Johnson, to acquire Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal.
However, those deals have left them with little depth and a roster that doesn’t appear to have the potential to become a good defensive team.
Center Deandre Ayton can be penciled in for 10 rebounds and at least 15 points just about every night, but he isn’t a rim protector or much of a defensive presence overall.
Some feel the Suns should be the favorites to come out of the Western Conference, but if their defense ends up being merely mediocre, they will be eminently beatable come playoff time.
Nurkic may not be a big-time shot blocker, but he is a 6-foot-11, 290-pound rock of concrete who could give Phoenix a physically imposing presence in the middle.
He has three years left on his contract, and he will make over $19 million in the final year of that deal.NEXT: Kevin Durant Praises Suns Teammate In New Hype Video