Through just one season with the team, Anthony Davis feels like he was always meant to be a Los Angeles Laker. While the fit has been perfect, it appears he nearly wasn’t the team’s big addition this past offseason. The New Orleans Pelicans didn’t want to do business with the Lakers so it made landing the superstar even more difficult.
And according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, this led to the team turning their sights towards Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard.
A source with knowledge of Lillard’s situation said there was Lakers interest in a superstar pairing with Lillard and LeBron James before the Davis deal went down in June 2019. What’s more, the source said there was a Brooklyn Nets scenario that never evolved which could have paired Kevin Durant with Lillard last summer if only he’d shown any interest (this was before Kyrie Irving’s inclusion had truly crystallized). Of course some of the game’s biggest stars, and/or the power brokers tied to them, have inquired about the possibility of Lillard pushing his way out to come join them.
This isn’t the first time Lillard to the Lakers has been labeled as a possibility, but those rumors were previously debunked. While it’s no surprise Los Angeles would want him, it remains to be seen if he has any interest in playing there.
Any Chance Lillard Leaves the Blazers?
There probably isn’t a team in the NBA that fork over a lot in a deal to land Lillard. He proved in the seeding games that he’s one of the most dominant offensive forces in the league. If you put him on any above-average team, they would almost instantly become contenders. However, there’s been no indication that he’s interested in leaving Portland.
Lillard is very loyal to the team that drafted him and he seems determined to bring them a title. Unfortunately, they’ve failed to have major success in the postseason thus far. It’s not that Lillard isn’t clutch or can’t win big games, so there’s certainly reason to believe the team could have a breakthrough at some point.
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What Would It Take for Lillard to Make a Change?
As of now, it doesn’t appear Lillard plans to leave. He recently called out Paul George for bouncing from team to team to try and win a title without doing it the hard way. He’d look like a bit of a hypocrite if he jumped ship right now. That probably takes Lillard off the table for at least this offseason.
It’s hard to imagine Lillard in another uniform but it’s not impossible. Even Lakers legend Kobe Bryant tried to get traded at one point. While that never happened, it does prove that there is a limit to loyalty. Lillard is already in his 30s and has dealt with injuries. He only has so much time left as one of the NBA’s elites. But even still, the star guard hasn’t given any indication of interest in potentially finding a new home.
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