Portland Trail Blazers rumors: Damian Lillard interested in playing Deandre Ayton, John Collins and OG Anunoby

The Portland Trail Blazers have many possibilities this summer when it comes to upgrading the roster around superstar Damian Lillard. It looks like they’re ready to re-sign Anfernee Simons, but after that, the doors are open for many different options.

Some names have already been thrown into the rumor mill: Jerami Grant, OG Anunoby and Zach Lavine. And the names on the table will continue to grow as we get closer to the NBA draft and free agency.

On Dunc’d on the Podcast with Nate Duncan, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer lists three players the Trail Blazers are looking at, and Lillard wants to play with: Deandre Ayton, John Collins, and Anunoby.

Eaton wants a max contract and Phoenix has been reluctant to give it to him. Other teams are willing to do so.

While Eaton, 23, has set good numbers for the Suns — averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game last year — he’s struggled with consistency and not a defensive player despite his size and athletic life, which is the side of the ball that Portland has struggled with.

Any trade involving Ayton, which is a restricted free agent this summer, must be tag and traded to help Phoenix reclaim value.

There have been grumblings that Anonobi is frustrated with his role in Toronto, especially after debuting rookie of the year Scotty Barnes.

Anunoby is a tall, athletic striker who plays both over the edge and on both ends of the floor — a huge void he could fill in Portland. On top of being a young (24) and productive player on the Raptors, Anunoby is also a deal breaker, as are three years left on a four-year, $72 million deal.

In Atlanta, Collins is in a similar situation as he is frustrated with his role. He was linked to several potential deals on the NBA trade deadline, but nothing came of it.

There are a slew of different names and capabilities floating around the Blazers this summer, which is arguably the most important Offseason in franchise history. We’ll see what moves they make when they try to turn the team around, but there’s no doubt they’ll have to make moves that are in keeping with Lillard’s career and style of play.

– Aaron Johannes

ayohannes@oregonian.com; Tweet embed

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