Trail Blazers Trade Mason Plumlee to Nuggets For Jusuf Nurkic

The Trail Blazers and Nuggets have kicked off the NBA's trade activity with a week and a half to go before the deadline, with Denver sending Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round draft pick to Portland in exchange for Mason Plumlee and a future second-round pick. A trade call to make the deal official is scheduled for Monday, sources told ESPN's Marc Stein.

Where this trade does matter a little more is that first-round draft pick. The Blazers are now armed with three first-round picks in 2017 draft, which could be packaged together as a part of a deal with the Sixers.

Amid a breakout season for Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic had clearly fallen out of the rotation of Nuggets' head coach Mike Malone. The one acquired in the trade with Denver, which originally belonged to Memphis, is top-five protected, ESPN notes. With the athleticism and size to play both frontcourt positions, coupled with being a good passer, Plumlee figures to fit well into the up-tempo offense the Nuggets have played this season. But the 26-year-old would have been owed a roughly $3.3 million contract extension next season, and dealing him could help the Blazers stay under the luxury tax.

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Plumlee is in the midst of a career year, averaging 11.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

Nurkic, who is averaging eight points and 5.8 rebounds per contest for the Nuggets this year, should be able to replace most of Plumlee's production. The Blazers also have the rights to the Cavaliers' first-round selection in June.

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