Blazers’ Damian Lillard Name-Drops Nets, Sparks New Round of Trade Speculation

Brooklyn Nets

Getty Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Don’t expect the rumors of the Brooklyn Nets swinging a trade for Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard to go away anytime soon.

Not after Lillard agreed the Nets were a team he would be open to joining if he were traded.

“Miami is the obvious one, and Bam [Adebayo] is my dog,” Lillard said on Showtime Sports’ ‘The Last Stand’ with Brian Custer on June 6. “Brooklyn is another obvious one because Mikal Bridges is my dog too. I mean both have capable rosters.”

Lillard’s affinity for Brides is well-documented with the Nets swingman being named among a group of players he would like to play with. Lillard attended Game 3 of the Nets’ first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers while Bridges has crashed Lillard’s Instagram livestream while the two have been seen partying it up together.

Lillard, 32, averaged a career-high 32.2 points on 64.5% true shooting this past season adding 7.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds. He is also still a marksman, knocking down 37.1% of his looks from beyond the arc.

He is still under contract with Portland through the 2026-27 season so he would have to request a trade to the Nets who have already let it be known they aren’t trading Bridges.

But Lillard said he believes that he will be a Blazer by the start of next season.

That would seem to be a bucket of cold water on the smoldering embers of this long-running rumor that has even seen the Nets’ “genuine interest” confirmed by Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

But the biggest sign that this may be a deal that never was is Lillard’s actions.

Damian Lillard Building New Property in Portland

Lillard sent up alarms when it was reported that he was putting his Portland-area mansion up on the market for sale.

But, again, it was not to be as he is simply moving on to bigger and better in Portland.

“The tweet going around about Damian Lillard selling his house leaves out the part where he’s been building a new house in the same area,” tweeted out Sean Highkin of the Rose Garden Report on June 2, just hours after the initial twee. “The house he’s apparently selling is his old house.”

Lillard can certainly afford it after agreeing to a two-year max contract extension in July 2022 bringing the total amount he is owed over the next four years to $225 million with a $63.2 million player option and cap hit in the final season, per Spotrac.

Sean Marks Proceeding With Caution on Star Chase

Even if Lillard was available, it is unclear just how far Nets general manager Sean Marks wants to go to get him to Brooklyn.

The Nets don’t control their first-round draft picks through the 2027 season thanks to the trade for James Harden so tanking is not really an option. They also own future first-rounders from teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Phoenix Suns. Each of those teams should still be highly competitive when those picks finally convey.

Brooklyn might be better off taking the bulk of this group into next season, seeing how things play out there and in other NBA cities before making their next big decision even if that decision is to build up in a more traditional sense.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments