Deandre Ayton’s tenure with the Phoenix Suns was rather bittersweet.
Some people thought that they would go with Luka Doncic over him in the NBA Draft, as they had Igor Kokoskov as their coach, but they decided to go with the local star out of Arizona.
He showed glimpses of great play right away, and even turned the page defensively when they made it to the NBA Finals.
However, his lack of commitment and effort — especially in the playoffs — was always a big talking point.
That’s why it seemed like he was never truly safe from being traded, even after signing a big contract extension, and that’s exactly what happened yesterday.
Some people criticized the move, but New Orleans Pelicans guard C.J. McCollum actually thought the Suns got a pretty decent return for their former No. 1 pick.
Suns got nas and nurk with a shooter Sheesh
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) September 27, 2023
McCollum took to Twitter to talk about how James Jones had got himself Jusuf Nurkic and Nassir Little — two of his former teammates — as well as a shooter.
While Nurkic obviously doesn’t have the same upside as Ayton, he’s a much more natural fit for what Frank Vogel wants from his big men.
As for Little, he’s an intriguing and ever-improving player who could have some big minutes off the bench, especially in the Suns’ switch-heavy defense.
Ayton could still turn out to be a star, but he just wasn’t the player the Suns needed right now.
The Blazers could allow him to develop under less pressure and with players who are a better fit for his timeline.NEXT: Magic Johnson Says 1 Team Got 'Much Deeper' After 3-Team Trade