Damian Lillard Makes Waves with Trade Demand After 11 Years in Portland

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Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard has conveyed his longing for a departure from the Portland Trail Blazers, as stated by various outlets. The inclination is that the organization will fulfill Lillard’s plea for a trade, as per the insights provided by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes has also mentioned the Brooklyn Nets as another destination favored by Lillard. Moreover, the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers have demonstrated a keen interest in procuring the services of Damian Lillard, as revealed by Wojnarowski.

Lillard’s trade request comes after the Trail Blazers drafted point guard Scoot Henderson with the third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. During end-of-season exit interviews, Lillard expressed his reluctance to play with young players. Despite Lillard’s desire for Portland to trade their draft pick for an experienced star, the team reportedly turned down all offers.

How would a trade package for Damian Lillard be structured?

With four years and $216 million remaining on his contract, Lillard will turn 33 before the next season begins. Coming off an exceptional season where he averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game, with a shooting accuracy of 37.1 percent from beyond the arc on a high with an impressive number of shot attempts exceeding 11 per game, Lillard not only solidifies his position as one of the premier guards in the league but also establishes himself as a prominent and influential force when it comes to pull-up shooting

During the early years of Lillard’s career, the Trail Blazers made the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons after selecting him as the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. However, in the past two seasons, Portland has struggled, and their lottery picks, Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe have not been able to significantly improve the team’s performance. The peak of the Lillard era in Portland came during the 2018-19 season when the Blazers reached the Western Conference Finals but were ultimately swept by the Warriors.

Anticipate a robust trade market for Lillard, as numerous teams have already conveyed their keen interest in acquiring his services. If trade with Miami materializes, the potential package could revolve around players like Tyler Herro and rookie Jaime Jaquez, along with multiple first-round draft picks. The Portland front office faces a critical decision: they must carefully consider the prospect of fulfilling Lillard’s desired relocation to Miami or instead prioritize the pursuit of the most advantageous trade package available from other potential suitors. Lillard had previously expressed his enthusiasm for playing alongside Bam Adebayo in Miami, especially after the Heat’s recent run to the NBA Finals.

Lillard’s trade request comes on the heels of the Blazers reaching an agreement with Jerami Grant on a five-year, $160 million deal. However, the contract cannot be officially signed until midnight on July 6. As Portland potentially enters a full rebuild mode after parting ways with Lillard, there may be speculation about whether they will attempt to back out of the Grant deal.

What will a potential trade package for Lillard entail?

In an effort to offload veteran center Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers may be motivated to include him in any trade involving Lillard. Nurkic is currently under contract for three more years, with $52.5 million remaining.

As reported, Miami’s ability to offer draft picks in a potential Lillard trade is limited due to previous obligations to the Thunder. The Heat could also include Kyle Lowry’s expiring contract as part of a package deal for both players.

However, it is unlikely that Miami’s offer will be the best one for Lillard, particularly if a bidding war ensues.

The level of interest from the Brooklyn Nets will play a crucial role in the Lillard trade negotiations.

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