Damian Lillard is yet to receive any confirmation on where he will be playing next season. After requesting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, the franchise engaged in conversations with the Miami Heat. However, after several attempts and trade packages dealt with, the Blazers haven’t found what they’re looking for in exchange for Lillard. Things could take a while before we find out which uniform he will appear in next.
The 7x All-Star had an impressive season averaging 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. He also averaged career highs in various shooting stats as well. Dame lifted the three-point contest trophy during the 2023 All-Star Weekend. After recording his best individual season, the Blazers failed to qualify for the playoffs this year. This is highly concerning as Lillard hopes to win a title soon. Unfortunately, this is what made him want to request a trade as well.
The Toronto Raptors have truly convinced numerous teams across the league with their genuine interest to trade for Damian Lillard.
– via Marc Stein
Here we go🍿 pic.twitter.com/SXIibhh3r5
— . (@GTJGotNext) September 24, 2023
Damian Lillard is simply not satisfied with how the Blazers are handling things. Since the start of July, the Heat has remained his top destination. On the other hand, Portland has rejected several packages offered by the Heat. Some packages were centered around Tyler Herro. Miami also agreed to pitch in multiple first-round picks, a few expiring contracts, and valuable assets. Portland having rejected everything has now left Miami with no option.
The Raptors could acquire Damian Lillard by including Scottie Barnes in a trade package
Several sources have reported that the Heat has now started formulating potential multi-team trade scenarios. If the Heat haven’t been able to impress the Blazers with available assets, a multi-team trade should speed up the process. So far, the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, and Phoenix Suns have emerged as potential 3rd and 4th interventions for the trade.
The Bulls may benefit from this trade as they have been struggling to make the playoffs as well. Things haven’t been going well with Zach LaVine either as the star has been linked to a few other trades. DeMar DeRozan, the centerpiece of the team has entered the final year of his contract, making the upcoming season the last chance for the Bulls to set things straight.
Phoenix has shown interest in Jusuf Nurkic in the past.The Suns could include Deandre Ayton in the mix. Ayton has had contractual issues with the Suns and based on his latest playoff run, things aren’t going well for him. But the Raptors have moved from being seen as helpers to a potential destination for Damian Lillard.
If the Raptors include Scottie Barnes in an offer, Damian Lillard will be headed to Toronto.
The Raptors have not done so yet and there’s no telling that they will. Portland seems to be allowing time for Toronto to further evaluate before re-engaging with Miami. https://t.co/EqLfIh15uD
— Jake Weinbach (@JWeinbachNBA) September 25, 2023
According to Jake Weinbach, if the Raptors pitch in Scottie Barnes then Damian Lillard might see himself in Toronto next year. Barnes is a good enough prospect to replace Lillard with a few other pieces that they would acquire from the Heat. Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game last season.