Damian Lillard has been the talk of the NBA world this weekend (outside of the NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, of course).
The reason: trade tumors.
A report from TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott revealed that Lillard is planning on requesting a trade out of Portland in the coming days. That report has since been denied by Lillard, though the trade rumors are not going away.
If this is a surprise, you haven’t been paying attention. As an organization, the Blazers have been melting since their playoff exit. Coach Terry Stotts was cut loose. Sources say billionaire Jody Allen plans to sell the team. The Blazers are prominent in trade rumors.
A coaching search resulted in a debacle of a press conference. GM Neil Olshey may have cost himself his job by ramming through his preferred candidate evidently without taking past rape accusations seriously. Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Conrad Wilson and Tony Schick found the Blazers had skipped several steps.
Lillard, meanwhile, says this is not true. However, he did not fully commit to returning to Portland, either (perhaps an indication of what could be coming later).
“Right now I’m not sure what I’m going to do. What I can say is my intentions and my heart has always been set on being in a Trail Blazers uniform for my entire career,” Lillard said on Friday. “But I think over time, you want to win it all. And I want to win it all in a Trail Blazers uniform. But we all have to be making strides toward that.”
The trade rumors are not going away, though. In fact, several teams have already been mentioned as possible destinations for Lillard.
Damian Lillard would like to be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers or New York Knicks, sources tell me.
— Quinton Mayo (@RealQuintonMayo) July 16, 2021
Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard has his eyes on the New York Knicks among trade destinations in the event he were to be dealt, per a source.
— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) July 16, 2021
Damian Lillard has officially requested a trade from the Portland Trailblazers.
Knicks, Lakers, Heat, and Warriors are the four teams Lillard’s interested in.
— Barry Bondz (@BarryBondz) July 16, 2021
The Warriors are probably the craziest possible destination, as Golden State already has Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. But Golden State is armed with former top NBA Draft pick James Wiseman and another high selection this year.
Golden State has reportedly discussed the potential trade “internally.”
The Warriors have internally discussed a trade for Damian Lillard, per @TheAthletic.
Imagine the trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Dame on the same team 🤯 pic.twitter.com/jLvRcCrcDC
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) July 12, 2021
Where do you ultimately see Lillard playing this season?