Lillard picked Knicks’ rivals — Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets — over them and Boston Celtics when asked to choose among those four teams as his preferred destination if ever his time in Portland comes to an end.
“Miami, obviously,” Lillard said during an interview with Showtime’s The Last Stand. “Miami is the obvious one, and Bam [Adebayo] is my dog. I think Miami is an obvious one. Brooklyn is another obvious one because Mikal Bridges is my dog too. And both have capable rosters.”
Lillard, however, made it clear that his focus right now is to win in Portland but left the door open for a potential move if they couldn’t contend.
“I think I’ve made it clear what my wishes are,” Lillard said. “I want to have the opportunity to win in Portland, and right now, we’ve got an opportunity asset-wise to build a team that can compete.”
“That would be the No. 1 thing, but if we can’t do that, then obviously, like I’ve said for months now, then it’s a separate conversation that we would have to have.”
The Trail Blazers have the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, which they could either trade to get Lillard much-needed help or keep it and select a foundational piece for a post-Lillard rebuild.
Lillard will be 33 when the new season tip-offs. He is under contract for four more years with a $63.2 million player option on the 2026-27 season when he’s 36.
Lillard had been linked to the Knicks for several years now. But it is unclear if the Knicks still have the appetite to trade for him as they already have their point guard in Jalen Brunson, who emerged as a rising star in his first season in New York.
Knicks Urged to Swap Julius Randle with Damian Lillard
Right after the Knicks’ season ended with a 4-2 series loss to eventual Eastern Conference champion, Heat, in the second round of the playoffs on May 12, Stephen A. Smith ranted on Twitter and asked for a Lillard trade.
“Season’s over. I guess in the end I always knew the New York Knicks would lose,” Smith said. “Jalen Brunson was spectacular [in Game 6]. 41 points. But he was the only one who showed up… Julius Randle [went] 3-for-14. Once again playoffs arrive and once again you fold. [I’m] done! It’s time to trade Julius Randle. It’s time for him to go. I want Damian Lillard. I don’t care what you gotta do to get him. I want Damian Lillard.”
Randle recorded a double-double (15 points and 11 rebounds) but was a measly 3-for-14 from the field and 1-of-7 from deep in the 96-92 Game 6 loss.
Knicks Drop in Damian Lillard Odds
The Knicks moved from the betting favorite to fourth-best odds as Lillard’s team in the upcoming season after his interview with Showtime’s The Last Stand.
The Trail Blazers are at +225 with a 30.8% chance of having Lillard back for his 12th season, but the Heat and the Nets have moved up tied for second at +500 with a 16.7% implied probability of trading for the superstar guard in the offseason. The Knicks fell from +450 with 18.2% chance last month to land Lillard to +600 with just 14.3% chance in the latest bookies.com odds.