It has been more than a month since Damian Lillard expressed his desire to be traded from the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite the widespread awareness of his trade request, he remains a part of the team. Today, we talk about 5 teams that should consider a trade deal for Damian Lillard.
Although it seems that the Miami Heat are poised to acquire him due to his open preference for that destination, with each passing day, the probability of this outcome appears to be gradually diminishing.
At some juncture, an alternative team might have the opportunity to present an offer that surpasses Miami’s bid, much like the Toronto Raptors did with Kawhi Leonard in 2018 or the Cleveland Cavaliers attempted with Donovan Mitchell last year.
Both teams understandably believed they could persuade these superstars to commit for a longer period and deemed the risk of relinquishing assets justifiable. While Leonard departed, he did secure a championship for Toronto before joining the LA Clippers. The outcomes for Cleveland remain uncertain.
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The question now revolves around which team could make a comparable move for Damian Lillard. Are there any teams that should take the gamble of sacrificing long-term assets and flexibility in exchange for the potential to acquire Dame and convince him to stay for an extended duration?
Here are the five teams that should Consider Acquiring Dame :
The Minnesota Timberwolves could find value in pursuing a Damian Lillard trade, especially as they aim to optimize their roster around Anthony Edwards. The previous Karl-Anthony Towns-Rudy Gobert frontcourt experiment didn’t yield desired results, indicating a need to focus on Edwards’ potential.
Considering Mike Conley’s age and contract situation, securing Lillard as a long-term point guard solution to pair with Edwards would result in a formidable and dynamic backcourt. Both players are committed for the foreseeable future.
Acquiring Lillard might necessitate involving a third team interested in Towns. The Atlanta Hawks could fit this role, seeking a starting power forward and having the assets Portland requires. A package from Atlanta, potentially including players like Onyeka Okongwu, AJ Griffin, Saddiq Bey, De’Andre Hunter, Jalen Johnson, and rookie Kobe Bufkin, along with multiple first-round picks, could intrigue the Blazers.
Lillard joining Edwards, Gobert, McDaniels, Conley, and others in Minnesota, and Towns forming a Big 3 with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray in Atlanta, while Portland gains a collection of picks and young talent from the Hawks, could reshape the landscape for these teams.
The Utah Jazz could potentially find a justification for pursuing a Damian Lillard trade, albeit with some reservations. While Lillard’s age and contract could be concerns (he’s 33 now and 36 after his player option), trading young players and draft picks might carry risks. However, depending on the price, the resulting team could reach the level of having a chance to contend for a championship if all factors align favorably.
Lauri Markkanen’s emergence could significantly impact Utah’s direction. Markkanen’s efficient interior finishing and floor spacing qualities exceeded expectations, and he’s proven to be a valuable asset. Partnering Lillard with him would create a potent offensive tandem. If Walker Kessler could remain as a defensive anchor, the Jazz might have a promising foundation.
While it’s not without challenges, particularly in the competitive Western Conference, Utah possesses assets from previous deals involving Mitchell and Gobert. This foundation, combined with potential upside, could be used to persuade their fanbase of the merits of a Lillard trade.
Over the last two seasons, Joel Embiid has secured two scoring titles and Philadelphia’s first MVP award in over 20 years. As he approaches his 30th birthday, the time has come for the skilled 7-footer to contend for an NBA championship. The Sixers should be fully committed to providing him with that opportunity, especially considering his potential desire for success and a possible change of scenery if postseason results continue to fall short.
A potential Damian Lillard trade could reshape Philadelphia’s championship prospects. While the exact cost remains uncertain, if the trade package is centered around James Harden (potentially redirected to a third team, like the Clippers), Tyrese Maxey, and the limited draft assets the Sixers possess, Lillard’s acquisition could bring them closer to contention.
The combination of Lillard and Embiid could rival the league’s top-scoring tandems, such as Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. Tobias Harris could step into a higher scoring role, and a defensive-minded supporting cast including players like P.J. Tucker and De’Anthony Melton could be assembled by Coach Nick Nurse. Given good health, this lineup appears championship-caliber.
While the loss of Maxey might sting, upgrading from Harden, who has struggled in significant playoff moments, to Lillard, known for clutch postseason performances, would likely make the sacrifice worthwhile.
While the Brooklyn Nets might not be Damian Lillard’s top choice (as the Miami Heat seem to hold that distinction), insiders in NBA circles acknowledge his strong relationship with Mikal Bridges.
The Nets possess an intriguing team that, at a glance, should secure a second-tier playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The primary need is at the guard position, where Lillard’s exceptional skills would shine.
Brooklyn also boasts various movable contracts, young talents, and trade exceptions that could facilitate a trade. Veterans like Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Royce O’Neale collectively earn enough to match Lillard’s trade salary. Alternatively, young players such as Cam Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe, Dariq Whitehead, and Noah Clowney could be included.
The Nets have multiple future first-round picks, including four unprotected ones (three from the Phoenix Suns and one from the Dallas Mavericks). The team can use its substantial trade exceptions ($19.9 million and $18.1 million) to absorb additional players from Portland, such as center Jusuf Nurkić.
A lineup centered around Lillard and Bridges, complemented by players like Cam Johnson and Nicolas Claxton, along with other assets retained from a potential trade with Portland, could propel the Nets into serious contention within the Eastern Conference.
Indeed, Damian Lillard has expressed a strong preference for the Miami Heat as a potential destination, however the deal is yet to materialize.
Miami has reportedly put forward a trade proposal involving Tyler Herro, Nikola Jovic, Kyle Lowry, Jaime Jaquez Jr, and future first-round picks for Lillard. However, the Portland Trail Blazers’ general manager has shown little interest in these assets.
To make this deal possible, Miami might need to involve a third team. Considering James Harden’s absence from training camp and hints of a potential trade, the Heat could look at the Philadelphia 76ers as an option. In this scenario, Miami could send Herro and multiple first-round picks to the 76ers, allowing Harden to join the Portland Trail Blazers, and ultimately facilitating Lillard’s move to the Miami Heat. This approach could benefit all parties involved.
A Miami Heat lineup anchored by Damian Lillard and Jimmy Butler, supported by talents like Bam Adebayo and Caleb Martin, along with assets retained from a potential trade with Portland, has the potential to elevate the Heat to a strong position for the NBA championship in the upcoming season.
The Heat’s impressive run to the championship finals last season, despite falling short against the Denver Nuggets, demonstrates their resilience and competitiveness. With the addition of Lillard and a well-rounded roster, the Heat could further solidify their contention for the coveted NBA title.
these are our proposed 5 teams that should consider a possible trade deal for Damian Lillard despite his interests being with the Miami Heats only.