I doubt Nurkic holds down the starting job beyond this season.I love the nickname too. We had the Polish Hammer, Dominayton debacle, and now we have the Bosnian Beast.
All said and done, I don't know how much further ahead Ayton is than Gortat as all time Suns centers. There is time for Nurkic to snag the "Best Suns Center Ever" title over the duration of his contract though. Not sure if that speaks to Nurk's talent or the Suns woes. Probably more the latter.
I don't think much of Nurkic, mediocre through and through and obviously isn't the player he was a few years ago.
I don't think it would take much of a slip in his production for him to end up as a reserve.
A low tier starting center on a bad contract and in decline, 2 prospects that have been hardly playable thus far and one of the most hated players in the league.
I think we should have tried to up Ayton's value during the season and traded him after Dec 15th when a lot more of the league is moveable.
I agree with "mediocre," by the standards of NBA starting centers. But statistically, he hasn't lost anything over the last few years. What are you seeing? Only twice in his career has he managed more than 65 games in a season.
By any measure, he's a top-20 center in the league. The Suns have no path to getting another center of that caliber anytime soon.
He's on a good contract, owed an average of $18.1 million over the next three years. That's less than Cam Johnson makes, and Nurkic is only a year and a half older than Johnson is.
The Suns have been trying to unload Ayton for a while. The Lillard trade was the opportunity, so that meant now.
Nurkic is what he is, which is to say a competent, decidedly unspectacular starting center. But that already puts him in select company. He misses a lot of games due to injury, but so do most players these days.
I haven't seen the comparison here, but Nurkic is very similar to Jokic in build and playing style. I'm not saying that he's as good as Jokic by any means, but when healthy he can probably give the Suns 50-75% of what Jokic does. That sounds pretty appealing. After seeing Denver steam roll the NBA with Jokic last year, it's not hard to see what the Suns brass see in Nurkic.