February 12th – The Denver Nuggets have acquired Portland Trailblazers’ big man Mason Plumlee and the Trailblazers’ 2018 2nd round pick in exchange for Nuggets’ big man Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 1st round pick via the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nuggets have been rumored to be working with the disgruntled big man to find him a new home. Nurkic started the Nuggets first 25 games of the season but was replaced in the starting lineup by second year sensation Nikola Jokic on December 15th. Since then, the “Bosnian Beast” has only started 4 games and has racked up 8 CD-DNP. For the season Nurkic has struggled with consistency most seen by his below 50% free throw percentage and his below average defense.
Mason Plumlee on the other hand is regarded as the second best passing big man behind Nikola Jokic himself. He is averaging 11.1 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists per game this season. He has started all 54 games for the Blazers and boasts an 18.7 PER. Mason could use some work in certain areas of his game such as free throw shooting as he only shoots 57% from the stripe. Plumlee has flirted with triples doubles multiple times this season and even if he doesn’t start for the Nuggets he will make it easier for first year players like Jamal Murray and Juan Hernangomez to get comfortable with their offense in the second unit.
Stats Comparison via Basketball-Referrence.com