Former Memphis Grizzlies executive John Hollinger highlighted the potential for the Blazers to trade unrestricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic for Ayton in free agency on the Hollinger and Duncan podcast.
The discussion, with Nate Duncan, surrounded what the Blazers could offer on top of Nurkic to ensure the Suns were happy. However both noted the obstacles that a potential double sign and trade would likely face.
Hollinger: The idea of an Ayton-Nurkic sign and trade is really interesting.
Duncan: With the number 7 pick being included?
Hollinger: You can’t really do it that way, that would take jumping the gun on free agency to entirely new levels
Duncan: So Phoenix has to be getting something back, is it like Nassir Little or something like that.
Hollinger: It would almost have to be, right.
Duncan: The cap mechanics of that are hard. Well Portland has this $20 million trade exception but that isn’t enough for what Ayton is going to want.
Hollinger: I do think Portland is going to trade the seventh pick for a player or try to, but I also think that they are also going to be a player for Ayton too. So it would almost have to be a Nurkic for Ayton sign and trade. it would probably cost them Josh Hart on top of that. It’s gets tricky because Portland owes future firsts and what not so maybe it’s just too impossible to do.
You can listen to the discussion here 33 minutes in.