Ranking Trail Blazers team contracts from bargain to nightmare

Portland is facing a rare salary cap dilemma.
(l to r) Malcolm Brogdon, Deandre Ayton, Jerami Grant; Portland Trail Blazers
(l to r) Malcolm Brogdon, Deandre Ayton, Jerami Grant; Portland Trail Blazers / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
5 of 5

Overpaid and potentially problematic

2. Deandre Ayton

Until the all-star break, Deandre Ayton was having the worst season of his NBA career. But for whatever reason, a switch flipped and DominAyton finally arrived in Portland.

The 25-year-old is averaging 22.4 points and 13.2 rebounds on 61 percent shooting since then, and with Simons, Brogdon and Jerami Grant dealing with injuries, has become the team's best and most consistent player.

However, Ayton will be the highest-paid Blazer in 2024-25 and one of the highest-paid centers in the entire NBA. If he's posting 22-point, 13-rebound double-doubles on a nightly basis, he'll be worth the price. But history says Ayton's not that player.

1. Jerami Grant

This is almost unfair to Grant, who was the Trail Blazers' best player all year until he started dealing with hamstring issues just as the team was ready and willing to leave any slightly injured veteran on the bench. Until then, he was averaging 21.0 points and shooting 40.2 percent from three on more than 5 attempts a game as Billups' most reliable scorer.

But Grant is also just completing the first season of a five-year, $160 million contract. He's a good player, but not quite that good. He's also 29 years old; by the time Portland is ready to make playoff runs again, he'll be on the wrong side of 30 and making more than $30 million a year.


Grant is also pricey enough that it will be difficult to get fair value in return if Cronin tries to trade him and unload his contract. It's a tough spot to be in, but considering the length of his deal, his age and his status as an almost-but-not-quite all-star, Grant finds himself as the Trail Blazers' most overpaid player.