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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Damian Lillard reportedly wants to play with 1 particular star

Damian Lillard in a Blazers jersey

Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard appears to have a notable player atop his Christmas wishlist.

Appearing this week on the “Dunc’d On Basketball NBA Podcast,” Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer said that the Portland Trail Blazers star Lillard is interested in playing with Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton.

The ex-No. 1 overall pick Ayton, who posted 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season, is set to become a restricted free agent. All indications are that the Suns will not bring back Ayton, who has been frustrated with his contract situation in Phoenix since last offseason.

Lillard, 31, has not played with a star big man in Portland since LaMarcus Aldridge left in 2015. Current starting 5 Jusuf Nurkic is an adequate middle man. But Nurkic is probably as good as he is going to get at 27 years old and is also an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The 23-year-old Ayton would be an excellent pick-and-roll battery mate for Lillard and could also anchor the Blazers’ defense on the other end. Portland clearly would like to stay competitive during Lillard’s waning prime years, as they were recently linked to another prominent talent as well.

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