All eyes in the NBA are on the situation brewing in Portland, as smoke continues to cloud Damian Lillard’s future with the Trail Blazers. Unsurprisingly, the New York Knicks are one of the teams waiting patiently to see if the star point guard requests a trade, so that they can be prepared with an appropriate package.
ESPN host Stephen A. Smith proposed what he thought would be a fair offer for the Knicks to send to the Blazers. He claimed that he would trade Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Mitchell Robinson, Obi Toppin and three first-round picks for Lillard if he was calling the shots in New York.
Smith’s hypothetical package would deplete the Knicks young core almost instantly, leaving the franchise without much of a future to build around. The team would be left with Lillard, a few veteran contributors and cap space to try and convince free agents to join a completely new roster.
Although Smith’s point might’ve been that the Knicks should be willing to put whatever on the table for the All-NBA point guard, New York fans blasted him for his absurd trade offer. It’s highly unlikely that the organization would ever deal eight total players to receive a single one in return, so the harsh reaction to the ESPN host’s take seems fair.
— Fredo🗽 (@goknickstape) July 19, 2021
In his own words, he needs to stay off the weed https://t.co/6EHyeYhx7s
— sam (@fbl_sam) July 19, 2021
I’m sure dame would absolutely FLOURISH while sharing the court with Kevin Knox and Elfrid Payton https://t.co/cCE2GtrxBp
— 𝕃𝕖𝕟𝕟𝕪⛈ (@KxngLenny_) July 19, 2021
The Knicks future certainly seems to be headed in the right direction after a season that saw the franchise go 41-31 and get back into the postseason. However, with the currently constructed roster, the team’s upside seems limited.
Lillard would be a massive pickup for the Knicks, but as of right now, he’s staying committed to the Trail Blazers. During a recent press conference, the 31-year-old expressed his desire to stay in Portland, so long as his current team makes strides in the right direction.
“What I can say is my intention in my heart has always been set on being in a Trail Blazers uniform for my entire career,” Lillard said, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Over time, you want to win it all. I want to win it all in a Trail Blazers uniform, but we all have to be making strides towards that.”
If Lillard deems Portland’s offseason moves unworthy, the Knicks will surely be one of the many teams in line to come calling.