Deandre Ayton’s days with the Phoenix Suns were all but numbered.
The Suns pretty much held him hostage by matching his contract offer with the Indiana Pacers, and he made it clear with his effort — or lack thereof — that he didn’t want to be there anymore.
So, even if he managed to survive the Chris Paul trade, it seemed like it was just a matter of time before James Jones flipped him somewhere else.
That’s why it wasn’t surprising to see the Suns get involved in the Damian Lillard sweepstakes to send Ayton to the Portland Trail Blazers in return for Jusuf Nurkic and some spare parts.
Now, StatMuse points out that in their first seven games with their new teams, the Blazers seem more content with the trade thus far.
In the first 7 games since the trade:
Ayton — Nurkic —
10.4 PPG 9.1 PPG
13.3 RPG 8.3 RPG
56.5 FG% 37.0 FG% pic.twitter.com/C2hvn1NGsu
— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 8, 2023
Ayton is averaging a 10.4 point-3.3 rebound double-double on 56.5% from the floor, while Nurkic is averaging 9.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game on 37% shooting.
Needless to say, it was always expected that Ayton would outproduce Nurkic; it should be that way.
We’re talking about a former No. 1 pick entering his prime years, while Nurkic is an aging role player who’s not there to score or put up big numbers.
At the end of the day, both teams got what they needed.
The Blazers got a potential building block for the future, and the Suns got his salary off their books and added more role players around their three stars, so it’s hard to say that any team won the deal, at least for now.NEXT: Suns HC Shares Update On Bradley Beal’s Back Injury