Suns Trade Deandre Ayton To Blazers

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA trade rumors, Damian Lillard
NBA Analysis Network

The Phoenix Suns have traded Deandre Ayton to the Portland Trail Blazers, according to multiple NBA reports.

Ayton averaged 18.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists last 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, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers Updates

However, Ayton’s level of play dropped in the 2023 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.

Ayton, who has career NBA averages of 16.7 points and 10.4 rebounds, tried to leave the Suns last offseason by signing a four-year, $132.9 million offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers in restricted free agency. However, Phoenix matched Indiana’s offer sheet. Ayton was the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Blazers will build around Ayton, Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe in the post-Damian Lillard era. Lillard was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, while Jusuf Nurkic was traded to the Suns. Ayton didn’t have a good relationship with former Suns head coach Monty Williams. It will be interesting to see if Blazers coach Chauncey Billups can connect with Ayton.

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

Nurkic signed a four-year, $70 million contract with the Blazers in July 2022. He’ll make $16.9 million next season. The veteran 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.

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