The Trailblazer’s young core are thrilled for their future after the Damian Lillard trade finally goes through after a long process that included Twitter beef and sneak disses. The Blazers now have a young team with nobody over the age of 30 and former high draft picks in the rotation ready to flourish. Let’s take a dive into how this trade impacts the Trailblazer’s future.
Promising Future for the Blazers
Why did the Suns trade Ayton?
Deandre Ayton was struggling with the Suns and his inconsistent play throughout his tenure led to him constantly being in trade rumors. During the playoffs he essentially was checking out in games and giving little to no effort. But now he gets a fresh start in Portland he ia projected to be a key player for the Portland Trailblazers’ future. Trade rumors are always circulating in the nba especially in Ayton’s case.
The talks began heating up after the Suns traded for Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. The former number-one pick now has a young core that will run up and down the court and will look to him for his leadership due to his experience in the league. However, he has shown promise in getting the ball down on the block and creating his own shot at times. But his overall consistency and effort on the court led to him being traded.
What is Ayton’s New Role in Portland?
The addition of Ayton helps improve the ceiling of Trailblazer’s young core. He is a mobile, strong yet agile big. His ability to shoot and spread the floor is the perfect fit alongside the young core of guards and wings in Portland. Developing the young players is the main goal during the rebuilding process for the Blazers these next few years.
He still has tremendous two-way potential as well which will help strengthen the interior play of the Blazers. The pick and roll game with the young fast guards on the team is fun and exciting with a good pace to watch. The Blazers are benefiting from receiving a young athletic big man. This trade is much needed and the best option for a Lillard swap. After losing their backup center Drew Eubanks last year they were proactive in trading Jusuf Nurkic to acquire Ayton.
How Does this Affect the Rest of the Team?
Anfernee Simons is an accomplished player with an average of 20 points per game, he is expecting to continue his success in the upcoming season. Throughout his start in the league, he’s shown potential in both catch-and-shoot and pull-up threes, making him a versatile player. Simons is shooting 39% on threes and is looking to get a higher usage rate with Lillard leaving. Additionally, his perimeter shot making ability makes him a perfect fit to play off of anyone. He also shoots 36% on pull-up threes. He and the rest of the Trailblazer’s young core simply did not align with Damian Lillard. His playing alongside Ayton will help give him and pick and roll/pop member that will open up both of their games. Anfernee Simmons is looking for a bigger role with the departure of Lillard.
Scoot Henderson Impact
Scoot Henderson was picked 2nd overall in the draft this year. Scoot’s personality on and off the court will be a much needed addition to the Trailblazer’s young core. He is genuinely passionate about the game, smiling and cheering on his teammates in the summer league while sitting out with an injury.
Scoot has massive downhill potential and an impressive IQ to beat his defenders downhill. He can pull off impressive moves to score as well as show off his playmaking ability. I love his natural feel for the game he likes to drive to the basket and keep his dribble alive to hit an open teammate. Playing with a big man like Ayton will help Scoot develop quicker into an all around guard. His ability to attack the off the catch effectively makes him a potentially good pairing alongside Simons and Shaedon Sharpe in the backcourt.
There are high hopes and expectations this upcoming season and years to come for Henderson. Eventually, Scoot and Ayton will be one of the best guard center tandems in the league. The fit is interesting Ayton and Scoot can bring to the Blazers as time goes along. On paper, Scoot is a great fit with a determined rim running skilled big like Deandre Ayton.
Shaedon Sharpe’s Impact
Shaedon Sharpe is another young talented player in part of the youth movement in Portland. When getting his time on the court Sharpe has shown an ability to take tough shots. Some of his go-to moves include dribble pull-ups, threes, and step-back midrange shots. He has shown 3 level shot creating ability along with finishing around the rim and transition with his high flying athleticism.
The team is looking to maximize the potential of both Sharpe and Ayton along with the rest of the young core. The exciting new trade gives the Blazers a high-flying and athletic duo with Ayton and Sharpe. With the right support system including Coach Chauncey Billups, they are looking to prosper in the upcoming years. Over time the team’s main goal is to grow chemistry with one another and develop. Alongside the rest of the Trailblazers young core, this just adds another dynamic to the team.
Kris Murray Impact
Kris Murray, who recently was acquired with the 23rd pick, seems like a fit for the team. This is another first round draft pick that the Blazers will develop. He is a physical defender with a knack for picking up blocks in one-on-one situations and is switchable and tall. However, it is important to note that him and Scoot are rookies.
Defense Potential that Ayton Brings
The Blazers’ defense is an area of improvement that needs to take place. With Chauncy Billups taking over the team along with the defensive minded wing Matisse Thybulle things are looking to take a turn in the upcoming seasons. The team is responsible for giving up the fourth least amount of mid-range attempts per game last season. The defense is crucial for teams to shoot more efficient shots. The Trailblazer’s young core is developing on both sides of the ball with the leadership of Billups. The players they have all are young and athletic but it’s s all about giving effort and applying themselves. With Ayton leading the interior the outside will be occupied by the guards. Ayton offers a new dynamic for Portland with a solid mobile big man. It will be interesting to see how far Ayton can lead his team in a new elevated role.
DeAndre has shown versatility in defense, but it has slipped over the past couple of years. Ayton is a good athlete with lateral skills and an IQ, which helps on defense. His playoff experience should help elevate the play of the younger players to step up their play and effort. Scoot, a 23-year-old rookie, has the physical tools to be a good defenseman, and Jerami Grant and Jrue Holiday are solid 2-way players but it is unlikely they will keep both of them Holiday in particular who is highly sought after recently being traded for Damian Lillard. The addition of Ayton will help their interior defense for the Blazers.
In conclusion, the Trailblazer’s young core and the addition of Deandre Ayton will be intriguing to watch. Once they develop alongside each other during the post-Damian Lillard era, the team can find themselves in the playoffs sooner than later. Anfernee Simons, Scoot Henderson, Shadeon Sharpe, Jerami Grant, and Deandre Ayton are the current projecting to start this upcoming season. The Blazers are doing a good job getting a head start on their rebuild. The addition of Ayton and the subtraction of Lillard helps the youth movement and adds roster balance as well.
This trade is a win-win trade for all 3 sides with the Bucks and Suns contending now and the Blazers are setting up for their future. As they say, patience is a virtue so only time will tell but the Blazers young core definitely is promising. LaMarcus Aldridge was the last promising big man the Blazers built around. They are looking to start a new chapter with yet another center to focus on developing.