The Portland Trail Blazers could soon find themselves in a difficult situation as rumors begin to circulate about the unhappiness of their franchise player, Damian Lillard. While there were always people suggesting Lillard would request a trade, he always made it clear that he was loyal to the franchise and the Portland fan base.
However, recent actions by the team may have changed that attitude. The Trail Blazers fired head coach Terry Stotts, and Lillard reportedly wanted Jason Kidd to replace him. When Kidd declined the job in favor of the Dallas Mavericks head coaching position, the Trail Blazers moved on.
They ultimately landed on controversial candidate Chauncey Billups, an option that was not suggested or endorsed by Lillard. This — and the lackluster results of the franchise in recent years — could reportedly lead to a trade request from Lillard this offseason, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
The enormous backlash from the Portland Trail Blazers’ process to hire a new coach and his concerns on whether a championship contender can be built have become factors that may push the franchise player — Damian Lillard — out the door, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
As is the case with virtually every superstar who wants out of their current home, Los Angeles Lakers fans were quick to suggest their team trade for Lillard’s services. However, the likelihood of seeing Lillard in a Lakers uniform next season is low.
Just to reach the correct amount of salary, it would take a multitude of players. Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would have to be involved, although one of those two could be replaced if all parties agreed to a Dennis Schroder sign-and-trade.
On top of that, Montrezl Harrell would need to opt in to the final year of his deal to be included — or sign-and-trade Talen Horton-Tucker if he receives a similar valued contract. Then, they would have to give up the only two first-round picks they can legally trade, this year and 2027.
Portland will likely have better offers for Lillard
For Lakers fans, this price is nothing to get Lillard in exchange. However, this is by far the best package the Lakers could offer, and it likely doesn’t even rank in the top-10 of offers the Trail Blazers will receive.
L.A. making a trade this offseason is very possible. However, they simply don’t have the assets to make a deal for a player of Lillard’s caliber. His potential trade request and trade saga will have to be witnessed from afar for Lakers fans.
The only way he could end up on the Lakers is if he pulls an Anthony Davis and says that’s the only place he wants to play. Given he has three years remaining on his contract though, that is harder to do since Portland wouldn’t have much incentive to deal him unless they get a package of their liking in return, which wouldn’t be from L.A.
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