Grade the trade: Suns finally move for Ayton for… Nurkic?
The Trail Blazers have officially become a rebuilding team after years of not being good enough to contend, but not bad enough to tank properly to get high draft picks. They have done an excellent job here in adding both players who they’ll keep, but also others who they will flip.
They also still have Scoot Henderson and Anfernee Simons, and alongside Ayton that is not a bad place to start. Ayton will be given plenty of chances to showcase his talents – and if he becomes more engaged in his new surroundings – the Trail Blazers are going to make the Suns look very silly here.
Holiday is the icing on top though, as there is no telling what the Trail Blazers could fetch in return for his talents. Every contender would love to have him (the Heat could even pursue him as a consolation prize here), and an outright bidding war for his services is sure to erupt in the not too distant future.
Toumani Camara was a second round pick by the Suns in this year’s draft, and he is absolutely an afterthought here. But he will get more run in Portland than he ever would have in Phoenix, and he looked solid defensively in Summer League play. Anything the Trail Blazers get from him though, will be a bonus.
It always hurts to move on from a franchise icon, and Lillard may be the greatest Trail Blazer in their history. The sellers in this scenario nine times out of 10 also lose out when moving on from a star. That’s the only reason the Trail Blazers don’t get an A grade here, but they’ve come out of this with a young player in Ayton, a valuable asset in Holiday, and a clear direction for their future.