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OKC Thunder Emerges as Surprise Contender for Damian Lillard, Insider Reveals

On September 2nd, we reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder was closely monitoring the Damian Lillard trade situation, and it appears the insider who first shared this news remains steadfast in his belief.

Today, NBA insider Chris Mannix has reaffirmed his opinion that the Oklahoma City Thunder might enter the race for Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard.

Mannix suggests that if Lillard remains with the Blazers and isn’t traded before January, the Thunder could become a potential contender if they exceed expectations early in the upcoming season.

It’s logical to consider Oklahoma City as a potential destination for Damian Lillard, given their young and asset-rich roster.

The Thunder has accumulated a substantial number of first-round draft picks in upcoming NBA drafts, alongside promising young talents such as Cason Wallace, Tre Mann, Jaylin Williams, Jalen Williams, Chet Holmgren, and Josh Giddey, who could be valuable trade pieces.

While the Thunder may be hesitant to part ways with Giddey, Holmgren, or Jalen Williams, who are viewed as integral to the team’s future, it implies that other young players on their roster could be expendable.

In the previous season, the Thunder made a run for the Western Conference play-in tournament but narrowly missed securing the No. 8 seed, losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves in their final play-in game.

The emergence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as an All-NBA player has accelerated Oklahoma City’s timeline to compete for a playoff spot in the upcoming season and beyond.

If Oklahoma City indeed enters the mix for the star point guard, Dame, it could pose a challenge for the Miami Heat, considering the Thunder’s considerable draft assets and young talent pool available for trade.

Nonetheless, the Miami Heat also hold an advantage, given Damian Lillard’s desire to play for their team. Recent reports suggest that the Heat and the Blazers have gained momentum in potential trade discussions for the seven-time All-Star.

Wherever Damian Lillard ends up (whether Miami or Oklahoma), he’s poised to make a significant impact for his new team, or he could remain with Portland if a trade doesn’t materialize.

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