Suns Would Be Interested In Trading Deandre Ayton For Jusuf Nurkic

Deandre Ayton, Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, NBA trade rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Phoenix Suns would be interested in trading Deandre Ayton to the Portland Trail Blazers for Jusuf Nurkic, according to NBA insider John Gambadoro. With Damian Lillard requesting a trade from the Blazers, Portland could be interested in acquiring Ayton for its rebuild.

Ayton averaged 18.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists last NBA season while shooting 58.9% from the field and 76.0% from the free-throw line. He recorded 36 double-doubles and helped Phoenix win 45 games in the regular season.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Deandre Ayton, Jusuf Nurkic, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers Updates

However, Ayton’s level of play dropped in the 2023 NBA playoffs. The center averaged 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in 10 games versus the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. Ayton put up 10.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in the Nuggets series and didn’t register a positive plus-minus rating in any game.

The Suns lost to the Nuggets in the 2023 NBA Western Conference Semifinals in six games. Ayton didn’t play in Game 6 due to a rib contusion he suffered in Game 5.

Nurkic signed a four-year, $70 million contract with the Blazers in July 2022. He’ll make $16.9 million next season. The center averaged 13.3 points and 9.1 rebounds last season while shooting 51.9% from the field, 36.1% from beyond the arc and 66.1% from the free-throw line. The 28-year-old played in 52 games.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Deandre Ayton, Jusuf Nurkic, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers Updates

Nurkic has career averages of 12.3 points and 8.6 rebounds with the Nuggets and Blazers. He’s close friends with Lillard, who has requested a trade from Portland to the Miami Heat.

Most people around the NBA believe Nurkic will be traded as part of a multi-team Lillard deal.

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