UPDATE: Jan. 15, 3:55 p.m. — Nurkic will undergo surgery on his fractured wrist and is expected to miss eight weeks, Shams Charania reported Friday afternoon. Nurkic was injured in Thursday night’s game vs. the Pacers. This is a big blow for Portland, which didn’t have Nurkic for most of the 2019-20 season after he broke his leg. Nurkic just can’t stay healthy and now the Blazers will miss him for a good chunk of the season.
With Nurkic sidelined for the next two months, Enes Kanter should enter the starting lineup and see big minutes. He played well for the Blazers with Nurkic sidelined after the broken leg back in the 2018-19 season. If you’re a Nurk owner in fantasy basketball, picking up Kanter would be a smart move. He may not provide as much upside as Nurkic in terms of points and assists, but Kanter is a rebound machine when he’s given the playing time.
Portland Trail Blazers C Jusuf Nurkic suffered a fractured wrist in Thursday’s game vs. the Indiana Pacers and was unable to return. This is a big blow for the Blazers, who lack depth in the front court behind Nurkic. This is the second major injury for Nurkic in the past three seasons. He missed most of 2019-20 recovering from a broken leg the season before. Nurkic is out for the rest of the game Thursday and we don’t have an immediate timetable for his return.
Nurkic finished Thursday’s game with 5 points and 8 rebounds in 21 minutes before leaving. With Nurkic sidelined the rest of the game, the Blazers will likely turn to backup center Enes Kanter. If Nurk is sidelined for an extended period of time, expect Kanter to enter the starting lineup. If you’re a Nurk owner in fantasy basketball, Kanter would be the most logical replacement in the short-term. The Blazers could also look to play small ball with Carmelo Anthony, Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr. in the front court. Harry Giles could also see minutes at backup center.