Earlier this week, Enes Kanter was included in the FlurrySports Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis column as a result of his steady rebound contributions. The veteran center’s stock is now set to rise even higher. Starting Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic sustained a broken wrist in Thursday’s game. Let’s dive into the Enes Kanter fantasy outlook, as well as those of other Portland players following the Jusuf Nurkic injury.
Jusuf Nurkic Injury Details
The Trail Blazers were excited to have a healthy Jusuf Nurkic coming into this season after injuries sidelined him for most of the 2019-20 schedule. He starred in the bubble and was a big reason why Portland was able to run down the 8th and final Western Conference playoff spot.
Now, Portland is set to be without their offensively gifted 7-footer for the foreseeable future yet again. Nurkic sustained a broken right wrist during Thursday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers. This is just the latest in a slew of injuries to Blazers’ big men.
Nurkic got off to a slow start this season but appeared to be turning the corner of late. An 18-point, 12-rebound double-double game in 30 minutes earlier this week was his best performance of the young season. Nurkic’s season is now on hold, which leaves both the Trail Blazers and many fantasy basketball owners scrambling.
Enes Kanter Fantasy Outlook Rises Following Jusuf Nurkic Injury
With almost four weeks of the NBA season complete, Enes Kanter is averaging 10.0 points and 8.9 rebounds as the Trail Blazers’ backup center option. Given that he has been coming off the bench, Kanter has only played an average of 18.7 minutes per game. That number is bound to go up following the crushing blow Portland suffered on Thursday.
Currently, Kanter is only rostered in 33.4% of ESPN leagues. He figures to be a top fantasy basketball waiver wire add in Week 5 as he assumes the starting center role for the Trail Blazers. In addition to boosted scoring, Kanter will have the chance to contribute more in other categories.
Other Jusuf Nurkic Injury Fantasy Takeaways
Losing a talented player like Nurkic is bound to create a ripple of effects throughout the entire lineup. While Enes Kanter fantasy stock is soaring in the aftermath, other players are set to benefit from the Jusuf Nurkic injury. Harry Giles will ascend the depth chart to be Portland’s backup center behind Kanter going forward. With Zach Collins already on the shelf after undergoing ankle surgery last month, Kanter and Giles are the sole proprietors of the center position for the Blazers at present.
If Terry Stotts decide to implement more small-ball lineups, power forwards Robert Covington and Carmelo Anthony may assume larger roles. Anthony in particular figures to become a more important component of Portland’s offense. His scoring abilities overshadow those of the Blazers’ remaining big men.
Finally, the burden will only fall more heavily on star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to carry the offense. Frontcourt scoring production will be limited, just as it was last season. The dynamic backcourt duo continues to be the only reliable piece in Portland on a yearly basis.