NBA Rumors: Three Rising Stars Damian Lillard Wants To Play With

The Portlland Trail Blazers remain adamant that they intend to continue building around Damian Lillard. With that, trade rumors are flying all over the place around RIP City. 

According to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, Lillard reportedly has his radar on three rising stars that could be available this summer — Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, and Toronto Raptors wing OG Anunoby.

All these three don't seem to be happy campers with their respective squads. 

Ayton's desire to land max money isn't a secret. He bet on himself this past 2021-22 season by putting up 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds on 63.4 percent shooting after both sides failed to agree on a max extension the previous offseason. 

But the Suns are reportedly still unwilling to give their 2018 no. 1 overall pick that big of a bag. 

The 23-year-old will become a restricted free agent this upcoming summer. But landing Ayton won't be easy for the Blazers as they will need to acquire him through a sign-and-trade given their financial situation.

Meanwhile, whispers around OG Anunoby's qualms with his role with the Raptors have grown louder over these past few weeks. The 6-foot-7 forward reportedly wants an expanded role in the offense. 

But with Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet as the main stars and the emergence of 2021-22 Rookie of the Year winner Scottie Barnes, Anunoby is going to be the fourth option at best moving forward.

Much like Anunoby, John Collins also has his frustrations with his role in Atlanta. This has been dating back to the 2020-21 season. But the Hawks' Eastern Conference Finals run in the 2021 NBA Playoffs likely kept him around to sign a max deal the previous summer. 

After losing in the first round of this year's playoffs, the Hawks might consider retooling to get back into contention in the East. And that could mean moving on from a frustrated Collins.

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