The Portland Trail Blazers are going to make a big move at some point. Whether that’s on draft day or a trade during free agency, the Blazers should look very different on Opening Night than they do today.
Among the players that have been linked to the Blazers is Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, who has been flying in trade rumors ever since last offseason. The Suns failed to sign Ayton last offseason when he was a free agent, but the Indiana Pacers signed him to an offer sheet, which Phoenix matched shortly thereafter.
Recently, Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Blazers were interested in Ayton. However, local reporter John Gambadoro, who hosts a radio show in the Phoenix area, refuted that report in a tweet.
The Portland Trail Blazers are not interested in acquiring Deandre Ayton. https://t.co/SZNghtJYUg— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 12, 2023
Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report quote tweeted Gambadoro’s response, claiming him to be “pretty reliable” on Suns rumors and reports.
This guy is pretty reliable when it comes to Suns stuff fwiw https://t.co/nD53982zdA— Sean Highkin (@highkin) June 12, 2023
Ayton is a name to watch over the summer, but the Blazers don’t exactly fit the bill for a new location for him. With Jusuf Nurkic manning the center position, it would mean the Blazers would have to find a new home for him as well. There’s also the fact that Ayton is owed over $102 million over the next three seasons.
The reason why the Suns matched the offer sheet to keep Ayton wasn’t necessarily because Phoenix wanted to keep him. While he’s a good center, it’s hard to justify any non-All-Star making that kind of money. By re-signing him, the Suns now have an opportunity to get something for him in return as opposed to letting him walk to the Pacers for nothing.
The Suns will likely find a new home for Ayton this summer, it just probably won’t be with the Blazers.