Preseason: Trail Blazers @ Suns Monday game thread, 10-16-2023

GatorAZ

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Like @Mainstreet said, Sarver wanted Bridges. So he doesn't really count since he was acquired by trade.

Ayton was a flop of a #1 overall pick from a class that produced a half dozen All-Stars before extensions were due. So while he wasn't devoid of a talent, he wasn't what we envisioned on draft day and isn't even the best big from his draft class.

I thought it was James Jones who wanted Bridges and McD wanted Shai.
 

cheesebeef

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No need in typing it as we know it’s the one thing that can derail any team who has title hopes.
Sure, but some teams are built around players more consistently susceptible to injury than others.
 

Hoop Head

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Yeah but that's an unfair comparison. PJ's impact is largely due to his effort and mental toughness, two qualities that would help any older player hang on and that DA clearly lacks. I don't think there's any doubt that, barring significant emotional growth, Ayton will be out of the league when he starts showing signs of aging, if not before then.

Anyway, I'm not sure where I'd come down on this discussion but I can certainly see reasons to say that DA at his best has been better than PJ at any point of his career. But I also see reasons to believe that in the end, years of prime aged PJ would be better than same number of Ayton years. He's better for chemistry and while he isn't as good at times as DA can be, PJ is far more reliable. And if you already have stars on your team, that reliability becomes even more valuable.

Thanks for wording that how you did. It captured a lot of what I was thinking but didn't say because I didn't want to write a novel explaining my reasoning. You were much more concise in explaining the gist of it though.

It's hard to say at this point given PJ is at the end of his career while Ayton is probably around the halfway point of his. Time will tell and I'd definitely revisit this down the line but I'd be surprised if the light ever comes on for DA and he becomes as impactful on a winning team as PJ has been. I believe any chance of him getting there as a player basically stopped once he asked out of Phoenix. He cares more about his own personal accomplishments than helping a team strive for greatness. That's fine, it's his life, but I also won't be surprised if he comes to regret that before his playing days are over.
 
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Mainstreet

Mainstreet

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I thought it was James Jones who wanted Bridges and McD wanted Shai.

It was rumored Ryan McDonough wanted to trade for Shai and I believe this to be accurate.

Both Sarver and Jones were likely on board with the trade for Bridges, otherwise it wouldn't happen.
 

AzStevenCal

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It was rumored Ryan McDonough wanted to trade for Shai and I believe this to be accurate.

Both Sarver and Jones were likely on board with the trade for Bridges, otherwise it wouldn't happen.
My guess, Ryan wanted to trade for Shai but the Clippers backed out. JJ really pushed for Mikal and talked Sarver into it against Ryan's wishes.
 
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