Skip to main content

Main content

Jusuf Nurkic

  • Position: Center
  • Height/Weight: 6-11 / 280
  • Birthdate: 08/23/1994
  • Club/Team: Cedevita (Croatia)
Round 1: Pick 16
Drafted By: Chicago Bulls (traded to Denver Nuggets)
Prospect Analysis


  • Strong frame with ability to bang inside
  • Good offensive moves around the basket
  • Solid offensive rebounder
  • Not afraid of contact
  • Nice shooting touch



  • Not especially athletic or explosive
  • Prone to foul trouble
  • Ability to defend athletic NBA centers a question
  • Attitude, maturity concerns


NBA Projection:

A big physically imposing center with good offensive skills around the basket. Nurkic will have to hold his own defensively but a guy with his skill and size should be off the board by the late 1st round.


2013-2014 Season:

Nurkic was very effective in the minutes he was given this season with Cedevita. If he had received 30 minutes of playing time he would likely have been close to a 20 point, 10 rebound average. He showed quite a bit of improvement, especially on the offensive end, from the 2012-13 season.


Key Statistics:

11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 16.6 mpg, .560 2PT, .701 FT (Adriatic League)

8.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 14.9 mpg, .588 2PT, .706 FT (Eurocup)


Cool Statistic:

Nurkic was a perfect 8-of-8 from the floor in scoring 20 points in 20 minutes in an Adriatic League contest against Skolnok.


Reminds Me Of:

Nikola Pekovic


What Insiders say:

Daniel Gomez Otero, National Coach, Basketball Torrelodones Academy (Spain)

“He has played Adriatic League and Eurocup with Cedevita. One of the best players in the Adriatic League. A very productive player for his time in the game. A dominant center in Europe who is efficient in pick & roll situations. He is adept at making hook shots in the paint with both hands. He has strong fakes and pivots near the rim."


Luka Bassin, Assistant Coach, Union Olimpija (Slovenia)

"Excellent NBA body and great frame. Very strong with good balance. He has developed his low post game  and now has a huge repertoire of back to basket moves where he can finish with both hands. Always present in offensive rebounding and is not affraid of contact. Has nice shooting touch too but did not use it a lot during season. He could be next ex-Yu big guy making an impact in NBA. Darryl Dawkins type of player with a better body."


Domenico Pezzella, SportLab Agency (Italy)

"A solid pick and roll center. His size allows him to keep contact in the paint and to score with hooks, spin moves and finishing with a soft touch. A good rebounder who is energetic and intensive on both ends of the court. A solid free throw shooter and good defender. He bases all of his game on his strength. He's is not really explosive and is prone to foul trouble. He still needs to work on many aspects of his game. "


David Aldridge's Big Board 2014: Centers | Rank: No. 2
TNT Analyst David Aldridge breaks down the top prospects at each position

Teams below the top five, by contrast, could well have a palatable alternative in Jusuf Nurkic, the 19-year-old Bosnian center who is rising fast up NBA Draft boards. Nurkic played this season in Turkey and more than held his own in the tough Adriatic League for Cedevita. At almost 280 pounds, Nurkic holds his position effectively and is looking to do damage on offense. He sets a mean pick and is quite effective in the screen-and-roll game that is an NBA staple.


 "That kid's a beast," an admiring Northwest Division executive said. "He's probably going to be effective from Day One. He's 280 [pounds] that can move. I've seen him play a few times. Running into him is like running into a brick wall. But at the same time, very nimble. Can move his feet. In his role, he sets a lot of picks. Runs the floor really well for his size. He can seal you real deep into the post. It's just a matter of him shooting that short jump hook." More>>



-- Carl Berman and Chris Denker are Managing Partners of NetScouts Basketball, "The International Basketball Connection."  You can follow NetScouts Basketball on twitter here, or follow Chris and Carl.