An anonymous NBA executive told Heavy.com that Brad Stevens is a big fan of Lillard. And given the Celtics' recent success this season, they're a team that may look to buy big this summer ahead of the 2022-23 season.
“Brad has a soft spot for him, I know. He is a favorite of his. Small college guy, such a hard worker. They have put themselves in a position to make a move like that. They can build a package around Derrick White and Marcus Smart, with Theis and Nesmith and a pick,” the executive said, via Heavy.com.
So what would a trade for Damian Lillard look like? The Celtics would obviously want to keep Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But it's hard to imagine the Trail Blazers being content to trade Lillard unless they got a star in return.
However, NESN has a proposed trade in mind. In the proposal, the Celtics would send Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith and a draft pick to Portland for Lillard.
Underwhelming? Absolutely. But Lillard is owed $42 million in 2022-23 and $45 million in 2023-24. That's a financial obstacle.
"The aforementioned NBA executive suggested a trade package centered around Marcus Smart and Derrick White, along with Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith and a draft pick," writes Scott Neville of NESN.com.
"That package may sound underwhelming for Trail Blazers fans, but a trade for Lillard has many factors that could limit his value. For starters, Lillard is owed $42 million for the 2022-23 season, $45 million in 2023-24, and a $48 million player option in 2024-25. A team would have to commit quite a lot financially for a 31-year-old who is currently missing time for abdominal surgery."
Will Damian Lillard be a Boston Celtic next season?