Trail Blazers Not Legitimate Landing Spot For Deandre Ayton?

Deandre Ayton, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The goal of the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2022 NBA offseason is to rebuild the roster around Damian Lillard. After bottoming out during the 2021-22 season as he recovered from surgery on his abdomen, the Trail Blazers are looking to get back into the playoff picture as soon as next season.

Armed with a ton of cap space and multiple great assets, such as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Portland is in a great position to add some talent this offseason. They have been connected to numerous players already, mostly coming in the frontcourt.

Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons and John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks have been mentioned most frequently. One free agent that had been linked to them was Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns.

The restricted free agent was someone that Lillard wanted to play with in Portland. However, according to the recent NBA intel that Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report has acquired, that will not be occurring.

“Portland does not appear to be a legitimate landing spot for restricted free agent Deandre Ayton, sources said.”

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers ‘Strong Fits’ To Trade For Suns’ Deandre Ayton

Part of the reason for Portland no longer being in the running for Deandre Ayton is that it is widely expected they will be re-signing Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic is a free agent himself, but he has developed a good relationship with Lillard and the organization over the last few years. Health has been the only thing really holding him back the last few seasons.

That should be three players with locked-in roles for the 2022-23 season in Damian Lillard, Nurkic and Josh Hart. Anfernee Simons will be a fourth if Portland retains the restricted free agent.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers ‘Strong Fits’ To Trade For Suns’ Deandre Ayton

Expect to hear plenty of more rumors involving the Portland Trail Blazers in the next week leading up to the 2022 NBA Draft as the No. 7 overall pick has a high likelihood of being on the move. Portland is expected to target more help on the wing, with that pick being used as a centerpiece of a deal to acquire some.