Ever since the Portland Trail Blazers made the move to bring the Bosnian center Jusuf Nurkic into the picture in 2017, he is steadily becoming one the premier big men in the league.
He might not be in the tier of players such as Nikola Jokic, Antony Davis, or Rudy Gobert, but Nurkic is proving that he belongs with the best of them.
Now that NBA season has been over for a few weeks now, the Bosnian beast has time on his hands to think about his goals for this upcoming season.
And Nurkic was able to share some of his thoughts on the latest ‘Let’s Get Technical’ Podcast.
In the interview with former Trail Blazers and hosts Rasheed Wallace and Bonzi Wells, Nurkic talked about goals from a team standpoint, playing with Damian Lillard, and even labeled next season as a “primetime-or-bust” scenario for next season.
Nurkic also wanted to note a personal goal he is trying to reach that he has not added yet to his NBA career.
First-time NBA All-Star.
“I want to be an All-Star. And I know I’m capable of that,” Nurkic said.
In Portland, we need to have a hell of a season. And I need to have a hell of a season. As a team and as a player. So, I know all of the stuff we need to, you know … especially in the West. So, the West is the best. I know that. But, same time, I’m not really approaching myself as an All-Star category for all the reasons. I want team success first, so if that happens, you know, great. But at the same time, this is the, I think definitely this is the season for us.
Jusuf Nurkic on becoming an All-Star next season
Since 2017, Nurkic has been averaging 15.1 ppg, 9.7 rbg, and 1.5 bpg on 50.6 percent shooting.
When he finally returned from his gruesome leg in the Orlando bubble, you can see he has been making leaps and bounds in improving in his game in all aspects.
For Nurkic, being with the Blazers - in a small market as they are- can be a challenge to get All-star votes from the already staked up Western Conference that is loaded with talent at the big man position.
If he were to have a defensive performance to start the season like say Gobert, then the conversation might steer in his direction if his offensive efficiency isn't up to par.
Gobert proved that you don't need to have a 20-point, 10-rebound average to make the All-Star game.
If the Blazers do start off this season fast, Nurkic becomes the anchor the Blazers front line and improves on his offense like he has been doing for the past two seasons, then the Bosnian beast could have a shot at reaching his goal that he set for himself this upcoming season.
It would be something to see Lillard and Nurkic running the All-Star court together just like they do in the regular season.