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Is Raptor’s Scottie Barnes a Sufficient Trade Return for Damian Lillard ?

The Damian Lillard trade talks experienced a hiatus during the NBA’s traditional summer break in August, but the anticipation is building as Media Day and the commencement of training camps for teams across the league draw nearer.

Adding a significant twist to the ongoing trade saga, prominent NBA reporter and writer Marc Spears recently introduced a surprising development: Damian Lillard might be on the verge of joining the Miami Heat even before the training camp kicks off.

While the Miami Heat have shown interest in acquiring the star point guard, the Portland Trail Blazers’ general manager, Joe Cronin,  appears unenthusiastic about the trade assets put forth by the Heat.

This situation could prompt other organizations with valuable assets to inquire about securing Damian Lillard’s signature.

It’s worth noting that throughout this entire process, the Miami Heat have consistently stood out as Damian Lillard’s preferred destination.

However, in a thought-provoking feature on feasible NBA trades, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report has reignited the notion of Lillard potentially becoming a key figure in the Toronto Raptors’ roster.

Buckley’s proposal presents an intriguing trade framework where Scottie Barnes emerges as the focal point of Portland’s compensation, while draft assets play a limited role, and secondary players are included as complementary assets.

The Trade:

In this hypothetical trade scenario, the Toronto Raptors would acquire Damian Lillard, while the Portland Trail Blazers would receive Scottie Barnes, Gradey Dick, Dennis Schröder, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young, and a 2028 first-round draft pick, showcasing the complexity and potential impact of the proposed transaction.

Here is a segment from the explanation of the proposed trade :

The Portland Trail Blazers would significantly enhance their future prospects by acquiring Barnes, a versatile playmaker, all-around defender, and agile finisher, making him a seamless fit alongside Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe.

Additionally, Gradey Dick’s sharpshooting abilities could potentially establish him as a foundational piece for Portland, as it would open up offensive opportunities for the youthful Blazers.

The inclusion of Dennis Schröder, Chris Boucher, and Thaddeus Young in the trade primarily serves to facilitate the financial aspects of the deal.

Schröder’s presence could also assist in a smooth transition for Henderson, ensuring the franchise isn’t overburdening him too quickly.

While Zach Buckley delves further into the Toronto Raptors’ perspective, let’s focus on these question:

Would the acquisition of Scottie Barnes alone, perhaps with an additional first-round draft pick, suffice as fair compensation for Damian Lillard?

Is Barnes esteemed highly enough to be considered the central piece in a trade for Lillard, with minimal additional incentives?

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