There isn’t an NBA team being discussed in trade rumors more right now than the New York Knicks, who are coming off of their first playoff berth since the 2012-2013 season.
Julius Randle’s growth from role player to All-NBA and All-Star forward has catapulted the team’s rebuild, and put them in discussion for any and all rumored names available via trade.
The most recent name to be linked to the Knicks? Point guard Damian Lillard.
A six-time All-Star, the NBA’s latest “disgruntled star” is as close as is humanly possible to formally requesting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers.
One recent report suggests Lillard could be eyeing a move to New York, coming off of a season where he averaged 28.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Abbott: Lillard Eyeing ‘One Team’
On a recent episode of The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker, True Hoop’s Henry Abbott was asked about a recent column where he suggested Damian Lillard will soon request a trade.
He responded with even newer intel, saying the six-time All-Star has his eyes on one team in particular:
I did hear from a great source that there is one team—which is a bummer because, it’s like, ‘Which one?’ And I don’t know the answer to that. The guesses that I’ve heard are basically Lakers or Knicks.
Few team executives expect a Dame deal to happen this offseason. But multiple front-office sources say the Heat, Kings, Knicks, Rockets, and Sixers have recently been the most aggressive suitors.
Don’t read too much into the exclusion of LeBron James and the Lakers here.
They likely wouldn’t be respected as a suitor based on their current cap situation, but stranger things have happened than stars finding their way to Los Angeles.
Knicks Can Outbid Lakers for Lillard
Barring the inclusion of Ben Simmons or De’Aaron Fox, New York Knicks fans should feel comfortable that they’ll have one of the more competitive packages for Damian Lillard in comparison to the field.
And when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers, they should know that is the case.
Even the rumored package for Collin Sexton (Kevin Knox, Obi Toppin, and the 19th overall pick) would be a more appealing offer for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Los Angeles, as it stands today, is only working with a package consisting of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and their first-round pick this year, combined with a potential sign and trade of either Dennis Schroder or Talen Horton-Tucker.
New York is primed to trade at least three first-round picks for a star guard, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
And on top of that, have a number of intriguing young talents in Immanuel Quickley, Mitchell Robinson, and Toppin.
So if Damian Lillard is truly looking at one of the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks, there shouldn’t be much debate on who can make the better offer.