In a potential seismic shift in the NBA landscape, sports writer Eddie Bitar from Fadeaway World has proposed a blockbuster trade that could see Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers’ star, make a monumental move to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The speculated trade suggests: In exchange, Portland Trail Blazers would Receive: D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and a 2029 First-Round Draft Pick. While Lillard has been vocal about his desire for a trade to the Miami Heat, the Blazers have the upper hand.
Lillard's contract lacks a no-trade clause, allowing the team to chart their course. The Blazers have set a high asking price, demanding four first-round picks and two top-tier players for the services of Lillard. Last season, Lillard boasted an impressive record, averaging 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists.
Lakers' Past Pursuit of Lillard
Historically, the Lakers had shown interest in Lillard. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis courted Lillard in the summer of 2021, but he chose to remain loyal to the Blazers. This came before the Lakers successfully brought Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards to their roster.
For a recap on Lillard's career: He committed to the Blazers in 2019 with a four-year deal worth $176 million. This was followed by a two-year, $121.8 million extension in 2022. After delivering a career-best performance, the Oakland-born guard expressed his dissatisfaction with the Blazers' recent draft decision.
Portland, instead of trading for another star, picked Scoot Henderson, a player in the same position as Lillard, with their third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. The Lakers, after facing a sweep by the Denver Nuggets in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, could benefit significantly from adding Lillard to their ranks.
Teaming him up with James and Davis would undoubtedly supercharge their offensive lineup. Yet, rumors swirl that Lillard remains firm on joining the Heat. Despite this, Lillard and his agent received a warning from the NBA. As per Shams Charania from The Athletic, any indications from Lillard that he might not fulfill his player contract obligations in case of a trade could invite disciplinary actions.
Stay tuned for more NBA news and updates on this evolving trade story involving Damian Lillard, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Portland Trail Blazers.
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