NBA Trade Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers eyeing a move for Deandre Ayton

Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: The Portland Trail Blazers could be eyeing a big move for Deandre Ayton this offseason. 

It’s become pretty clear that the Portland Trail Blazers‘ future will be largely dictated by what happens over the course of this offseason. Damian Lillard has put the front office on the clock and if they aren’t able (or willing) to try to build a contender around him this offseason, it’s probably going to be time for both sides to part ways.

Despite that threat or warning, whatever you want to call it, it’s been pretty well-reported that the Blazers fully intend on trying to build a contender around Lillard. But that could very much be easier said than done.

The good news is that the Blazers do have the assets to find a potential deal. Portland has the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and is reportedly open to trading Anfernee Simons. The team would prefer to hold on to Shaedon Sharpe but perhaps that could change if the right deal does come across their desk.

Either way, it’s pretty safe to assume that the Blazers are working diligently to try to improve the supporting cast around Lillard.

According to a recent report, one potential target in upgrading the supporting cast around Lillard could be Deandre Ayton. The Blazers could look to add the 7-foot big man to give Lillard a reliable offensive option in the frontcourt.

Deandre Ayton could benefit from a change of scenery

Even though Ayton has had a rough go-around with the Phoenix Suns over the last two seasons, his offensive talent is something that can’t be questioned. Ayton is coming off a season in which he averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game on 59 percent shooting from the field.

Ayton has struggled to fit in with Phoenix over the last couple of seasons and nearly was let go by the team last offseason after he signed an offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers. The offer sheet was ultimately matched by the Suns but it remains apparent that he isn’t likely viewed as a key part of this team’s core. Even less so after the team acquired Kevin Durant at this past year’s NBA Trade Deadline.

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The big question is whether or not Ayton would be enough to move the needle for Lillard. Would that be enough of an upgrade to help the Blazers emerged as a contender in the Western Conference and, if so, what could a potential deal look like? At the very least, it’s a possible scenario to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.