3 Teams With the Best Chance of Landing Damian Lillard if He is Traded
3. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics and Kemba Walker have mutual interest in parting ways. Therefore, the Celtics can simply include Walker, along with multiple young assets and draft picks, in a potential Lillard trade. Since Walker's contract pays him $36 million for next season, it would be easy to make a deal work financially. However, the Blazers may not be too interested in Walker after a poor, injury-ridden season.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are known for landing big stars and have two of the biggest fish on the team in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which would interest Lillard a lot should the Blazers decide to part ways. The Lakers have a lot of free agents going into the offseason, so any trade with Portland might have to involve sign-and-trades, which could feature the likes of Talen-Horton Tucker and Alex Caruso. If Montrezl Harrell decides to opt into his contract, he could be part of any deal, as well as Kyle Kuzma, who has fallen completely out of favor in L.A. It would also take the Lakers plenty of draft picks to satisfy Portland.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are the betting favorites to land Damian Lillard if he is traded. Why? Simply because they have a ton of young assets and cap space. The Knicks are reportedly prepared to offer three first-round picks for Lillard and could add players from their young core, such as Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, and perhaps even Mitchell Robinson. They wouldn't even be required to match Portland financially because they can consume a max deal with all the cap flexibility they possess. After overachieving under new head coach Tom Thibodeau, New York has become an intriguing place to play again and will be the most aggressive team during the offseason.
It's not a guarantee that Lillard is traded, but it seems like the Blazers will control his destiny, unless the 30-year-old superstar publicly demands a trade which is unlikely. Lillard is set to be paid $43.7 million for the upcoming season and is under contract for another 4 years, with a player option for the final year.
Will Portland agree to trade him and rebuild this summer?