There’s been talk for years about Damian Lillard potentially getting traded but it never seemed real until now. The six-time All-Star hasn’t been shy about his discontent with the team this offseason. This discontent could lead to Lillard making a drastic decision. According to Henry Abbott of TrueHoop, the Portland Trail Blazers star will request a trade soon.
Lillard came out and denied that report but it’s to hard imagine that he’s not thinking strongly about it. Abbott later had a chance to add to his report and dropped some potentially very interesting information for the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I did hear from a great source that there is one team, which is a bummer because which one? I don’t know the answer to that,” Abbot said on The Odd Couple. “The guesses that I’ve heard are basically Lakers or Knicks. I don’t know how either one can have the best offer though.”
The Lakers have been a team long mentioned in a possible Lillard trade. There’s no doubt they’d love to have them. If Los Angeles ends up being the one team that Abbott is talking about, their chances of trading for him will be greatly helped.
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Why Lillard Would Want to Join the Lakers
Lillard to the Lakers makes sense for the guard. He’s from California and just co-starred in Space Jam: A New Legacy alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He’s clearly got a good relationship with the two Lakers stars. He’d also be a great fit with the team.
The Lakers are ready to win now and are less than a year removed from winning a championship. Adding Lillard to the team would have to make them favorites to win again next season. He’s made it clear that he wants to win and the Lakers could give him the best chance at winning – certainly more than the Knicks could. New York isn’t one player away from being championship contenders but the Lakers are contenders right now, even without Lillard.
Lillard Specifically Wanting Lakers Trade Is Only Way Team Can Pull It Off
The Lakers will have to hope that Lillard only wants to play for them. At the end of the day, they could put together one of the least appealing trade packages for Portland. They have very few draft picks and not many valuable players under contract. The team would also need Dennis Schroder to be willing to go to the Trail Blazers in a sign-and-trade.
That’s going to be very hard to pull off. However, if Lillard makes it clear to the entire NBA that he doesn’t want to play anywhere else, that would help the Lakers. The guard is under contract until 2024 at the earliest so he doesn’t have a ton of leverage but the Trail Blazers could do him a solid for being so loyal to the team. That said, if Portland has to trade their best player, they’re going to want a solid haul in return. That’s not really something the Lakers could offer unless the Trail Blazers are very high on Kyle Kuzma.