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The Trail Blazers may have finally unlocked the real Deandre Ayton

Mar 14, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Deandre Ayton (2) shoots a three-point shot over New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) in the third quarter at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

After missing a string of five games, Deandre Ayton has been on a different level over the past week with the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Ayton, who is averaging around 15 points a game this season, has averaged 27.5 points in the Blazers past five games. This includes three 30+ nights.

Also, on the board, Ayton has averaged 14.5 rebounds per game in this span.

In response to this recent breakout performance, Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups noted that they have “unlocked him.”

Ayton’s journey to the Blazers began during the last offseason when he was traded after spending the first five seasons of his career with the Suns. As the top overall pick in the 2018 draft, Ayton initially showed promise but struggled to fully realize his potential.

Ultimately, the Suns opted to move in a different direction, placing their trust in Jusuf Nurkic at the center position.


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