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Blazers Center Deandre Ayton ‘Excited’ For New Role in Portland

Deandre Ayton joins the Portland Trail Blazers after five seasons with the Phoenix Suns.

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

Newly-acquired Portland Trail Blazers center Deandre Ayton is excited to suit up for Rip City in the 2023-24 NBA season after the Phoenix Suns traded him for Damian Lillard.

Ayton took to Twitter last night to share this heartfelt message with his fans and the NBA world at large.

Ayton was one of the more highly touted collegiate players of the last decade out of the University of Arizona, where he established himself as a dominant paint presence that could stretch the floor.

After going No. 1 overall in the 2018 NBA draft, Ayton made an immediate impact for the Phoenix Suns, averaging a double-double on the way to All-Rookie First Team honors.

Ayton’s production has not grown exponentially year-over-year since his entry into the league, but he has been a consistent pick-and-roll producer and interior presence for a Suns team that advanced in the playoffs in his final three seasons with the team – including a 2021 Finals run.

The Bahamian center joins a young Blazers ensemble that finished No. 28 in rebounding and No. 17 in both blocked shots and field goal percentage per game in 2022-23.

His efficient play style, great hands and assertiveness in the paint will likely be a quick fix for many of Portland’s woes down the stretch of last season.

Ayton’s homage to the Suns’ fanbase shows love to a home crowd that was among the loudest home courts in the NBA during his time in Phoenix.

A new horizon is in store for Ayton in Portland, where he looks to make Blazers faithful rise to their feet and exceed his former teams’ noise meter as the franchise aims for more 33 win total from a season ago.