2. Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers
Nurkic is a significant question mark, as the nearly 300-pound big man has suffered some severe foot injuries. If Toronto gets a clean bill of health back from a doctor who looks at him, he should be right near the top of their hypothetical free agent list this offseason.
Nurkic averaged 15.0 points and a career-best 11.1 rebounds per game this season. Even in a somewhat compromised state, Nurkic is still a reliable finisher that can dominate on the glass. Even if the mobility is down a peg, Nurkic can be a weapon for Toronto if brought in.
Jusuf Nurkic could be a star for the Toronto Raptors if healthy.
Nurkic would not be a switchable player, but Birch was the furthest thing from a versatile big man last year and Toronto still put him out on the floor for heavy minutes. Nurkic would be a quality scorer in the paint, yet wouldn’t demand a ton of touches or shots per game.
Nurkic will likely be prioritized by a Blazers team that itself is lacking in centers who can help them compete in the West. However, if Nurkic is unconvinced by Portland’s monetary offer or their prospects at building a winner, Toronto might be the out he has been looking for.