The Portland Trail Blazers made the most of the Damian Lillard trade to get plenty of valuable assets.
Notably, Deandre Ayton was perhaps the most prominent name they got in return for their All-Star.
He’s just five years removed from being the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, and while he may not have lived up to those lofty expectations, he’s still just 25 years old and could burst out with an expanded role.
Nonetheless, that hasn’t been the case at all thus far.
Ayton has averaged just 8.3 points per game since arriving in Rip City, with his team falling to 0-3 in the young season (via The Dunk Central).
Deandre Ayton is averaging 8.3 PPG in his first 3 games in Portland
Portland is 0-3 pic.twitter.com/uJ1jxCxanS
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) October 30, 2023
The Bahamas native had raved about how happy he felt over finally leaving the Phoenix Suns, stating that he now felt appreciated and was looking forward to making an impact for Chauncey Billups’ team.
Still, he’s gotten into foul trouble and has been inefficient and erratic as both a scorer and a rebounder.
Ayton has a sweet scoring touch with both hands and a big and strong frame to establish position on both sides of the glass, but his effort has been questionable for most of his NBA career.
The intensity doesn’t seem to be there, and it’s been even more evident when you compare it to the few times he’s actually looked like a guy with a chip on his shoulder and looking to prove himself.
The Blazers aren’t expected to compete or even make the playoffs this season by any means.
But still, Ayton has the chance to be their franchise cornerstone, and watching him struggle so badly is quite discouraging.NEXT: Trail Blazers Are Dealing With Sudden Anfernee Simons Issue