Trail Blazers rumors: Phil Knight, Dyson Daniels, Deandre Ayton, etc.

Deandre Ayton, Robert Covington, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, rumors (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Deandre Ayton, Robert Covington, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, rumors (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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OG Anunoby, Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, rumors
OG Anunoby, Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, rumors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

Portland Trail Blazers linked to Deandre Ayton, OG Anunoby, Jerami Grant, etc.

Since the Trail Blazers’ season is over and the draft and free agency are still weeks away, Portland fans and writers have been busy reaching for anything that sort of resembles a rumor or leak.

So far, Portland has been “linked” to a multitude of players who may or may not be available this offseason. I’m just going to run through some of the most prominent ones.

Deandre Ayton:

Deandre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns are headed for a breakup. The schism began last summer when the Suns declined to extend Ayton who was reportedly seeking a max deal. After a disappointing early playoff exit at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, it seems increasingly likely that the Suns are unwilling to pay Ayton what he’s seeking. It’s been rumored that the former number-one-overall pick has fallen out of Head Coach Monty Williams’s favor, adding fuel to the fire in regards to Ayton’s future in Phoenix.

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While he’s likely out the door, and a sign-and-trade makes the most sense for him and the Suns, I wouldn’t start ordering a custom Ayton-Trail Blazers jersey just yet. Portland has very few assets to offer Phoenix in an S&T deal, probably already has a verbal commitment with Jusuf Nurkic, and can’t afford to sign the big man outright in free agency. Unless Ayton dubs the Blazers as his only desired S&T destination, he won’t be representing Rip City next season.

OG Anunoby:

The Portland Trail Blazers — like every other team in the league — have shown interest in acquiring a 24-year-old, two-way rising star at wing in OG Anunoby. Jake Fischer of BleacherReport further stoked these flames despite reporting that OG’s availability was generated from outside interest rather than within the Toronto Raptors organization and that executives around the league believe that a package around Josh Hart and the number seven pick in the 2022 draft wouldn’t be enough to swing a deal for OG’s services.

That could just be a smokescreen from Toronto in an attempt to boost Anunoby’s asking price. If the Trail Blazers could land OG without giving up Damian Lillard or Anfernee Simons, then they should pull the trigger regardless of what else it costs. Anunoby’s the perfect target for Portland in that he fits both Dame and Ant’s timelines and would be a natural fit on the wings beside the two offensively-gifted guards.

Considering the Sacramento Kings are allegedly shopping the fourth-overall pick for a win-now player in OG’s mold, I’d put my money on him heading to Southern California rather than the Pacific Northwest if he was to be traded out of Canada.

Jerami Grant:

Jerami Grant and the Portland Trail Blazers continue to be tied together in NBA rumors. Originally, it seemed like Grant to Rip City for a package around the New Orleans Pelicans’ lottery pick was a done deal. Of course, the Blazers no longer hold the rights to that pick, as the Pellies clawed their way into the playoffs and sent the selection to the Charlotte Hornets instead.

Now, it’s been rumored that Portland could just trade their own seventh pick for Grant. While I believe that he will be a Blazer next season, I firmly suspect that their first-round pick won’t be a part of that deal.

It only makes sense to deal for Grant if the Blazers are going to add another significant piece this offseason, either through the draft or in a different trade. Grant’s value is certainly lower than the seventh-overall pick, and his desire to play alongside Dame in Rip City is no secret and should only decrease Detroit’s asking price.

A package around Keon Johnson, Eric Bledsoe, and the Milwaukee 2025 first-rounder that Portland got from New Orleans is a much more reasonable return for Grant. Otherwise, expect the Blazers to trade down from seven and relay whatever later pick they nab to Detroit for Grant instead. I fully expect the Blazers to stay in the first round of this year’s draft in some manner, however, as their hiring of a draft expert a month before the event would suggest that they plan on securing an impactful rookie this summer.

Next. Ranking Portland Trail Blazers options with 7th pick in 2022 NBA Draft. dark