Nobody knows what the 2020 NBA offseason will look like, but it’s bound to be an even less eventful free-agency period than anticipated…

Nobody knows what the 2020 NBA offseason will look like, but it’s bound to be an even less eventful free-agency period than anticipated…

David Zalubowski/Associated Press
It’s understandable the Blazers have been clamoring for Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic to return, but it’s ironic too. While both players are talented, each is a natural center, and they shouldn’t play together, let alone make up a starting frontcourt for a playoff contender.
Because most of the conversation around Nurkic over the past year has focused on his health, there hasn’t been much talk about trading him. However, now that he’s back and playing well, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see such rumors start.
Collins is younger and a more modern player, so he’s likely to stick around, but Nurkic could be an excellent addition to many teams. He’s skilled around the basket, a solid secondary distributor and a master of screening, box-out technique and other minutiae. Just because Nurkic isn’t a proficient shooter doesn’t mean he’s obsolete in 2020.
Portland fans reading this are probably furious, and that’s fair. After a year-plus of hoping Nurkic can be the same player he was pre-injury, it looks like he might be, and we’re immediately telling the Blazers to trade him.
But Collins might be just as good as (if not better than) the Bosnian, and GM Neil Olshey can find a minimum-salary wing replacement through free agency or the draft (a suggestion: start watching Devin Vassell, Saddiq Bey and Aaron Nesmith film immediately).
What may seem like a bad idea right now could be best for all parties going forward.

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