As the Damian Lillard trade rumors continue to swirl, the Los Angeles Lakers are frequently mentioned as a possible landing spot for the superstar. Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd pitched a blockbuster trade idea to NBA insider Chris Broussard suggesting the Lakers send Anthony Davis to Portland. Broussard nixed the idea citing Klutch Sports’ connection to the Lakers as being a deal-breaker in a potential trade for Lillard.
“Look, if I’m Portland, oh yes, let’s do it now,” Broussard explained during the July 2nd edition of The Herd. “I get you there. It’s the other side. Who represents Anthony Davis? We both know, Rich Paul. Rich just got him out of New Orleans a few years ago. Unless Anthony Davis has this desire to be in Portland and play in Portland for the next five years, he’s not going there. Rich Paul’s not sending him to Portland. So, that’s not happening.
“Now, if you asked me, would I do it if I’m the Lakers, like if Rich Paul is not in the picture? I would not do it right now. If I were the Lakers, I give it one more year with A.D. because we know that A.D. and LeBron can win a title assuming LeBron’s himself.”
Here’s a look at the full discussion about a potential blockbuster Lakers deal.
Cowherd: ‘LeBron’s Got an Out’ If the Lakers Trade A.D.
Cowherd is more optimistic on a potential Lakers’ deal for Lillard suggesting that LeBron James has an “out” with Davis. The FS1 host believes Lillard’s ability to handle the ball would allow James to play less minutes. Davis’ recent injuries could give the Lakers an excuse to move the big man despite his connection to Klutch Sports.
“I think LeBron could use this excuse, ‘Hey, I gave Anthony two years, the guy came in out of shape. We can’t have that. We can’t have that,'” Cowherd noted. “That’s an out to me, and LeBron’s got an out.”
The Lakers’ chances of landing Lillard if he becomes available likely hinges on the team parting with Davis. Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus suggested there is a slight hope the Lakers could snag Lillard via a sign-and-trade with Talen Horton-Tucker as the centerpiece.
“If the Blazers are a believer, the Lakers could have some traction,” Pincus explained. “Horton-Tucker can earn up to about $33-$46 million over three or four years via sign-and-trade. Portland would have a team salary limit at roughly $143 million for the 2021-22 season, which should not be an issue. The Lakers would need to include additional salary, starting with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma. Others, like Montrezl Harrell (if he opts into his final year at $9.7 million) and Alfonzo McKinnie ($1.9 million, some of which would need to be guaranteed) could round out a deal, especially if the Blazers were willing to include center Jusuf Nurkic, who notably told a Bosnian media outlet if Lillard is out, he’s out.”
Lillard Was Reportedly Frustrated by the Blazers’ Recent Head Coaching Search
Lillard recently tried to downplay trade speculation, but the rumors have heated up since the Blazers were bounced in the first round of the playoffs. These rumors were ignited even more after Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported the Blazers recent coaching search could push Lillard out of Portland.
“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,” Haynes wrote on June 27.