Should the Blazers agree to this trade with the Raptors and Suns?
In a simple one-word answer? Yes. This may be the best possible outcome for the Portland Trail Blazers, should they complete a Damian Lillard trade.
Ayton would be the team’s long-term answer at center. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft is only 25 years old and has three years remaining on an expensive, but not bank-breaking deal. He would be a considerable upgrade over the oft-injured and plodding Nurkic on both ends of the floor.
Dick, meanwhile, was Toronto’s first-round pick in June’s draft. He’s billed as a sharpshooter, but he’s much more than your average Kyle Korver.
The 6-foot-6 wing is in perpetual motion offensively and can get off any shot, whether it’s on the move or spotting up. He has a feel for when to cut to the rim for easy baskets and can finish inside, and he’s an above-average playmaker. He’s intense on the court and plays with energy and hustle.
Once Thybulle and Grant move on, the Blazers could run out a five-man lineup of Henderson, Simons, Sharpe, Dick and Ayton. It wouldn’t be the biggest lineup and it wouldn’t be great defensively, but that group could score with any other five in the NBA – and none of them are older than 25.
Portland also grabs a pair of future firsts from Toronto that hold some value – where will the Raptors be five to seven years from now? Lillard will likely be retired and Siakam will be 34 in 2028.
Bourguet adds that Trent Jr. can be flipped at this year’s trade deadline for more assets, while Young’s expiring $8 million salary will come off the books at the end of the season.
Blazers trade grade: A