The Phoenix Suns are making moves to retool their roster in hopes of securing the first NBA title in the history of the franchise. They have already made several changes since being bounced out of the playoffs in the second round by the Denver Nuggets.
They fired former NBA coach of the Year Monty Williams and replaced him with former Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. Then, in a roster shakeup, Chris B. Haynes of Bleacher Report revealed that the Suns alerted Chris Paul of their intentions to waive him this summer.
With Paul potentially on his way out of Phoenix, the Suns will be in the market for a new starting point guard who can help transform them into a title contender. One general manager told Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports; the Suns could be eyeing a blockbuster trade to land All-Star point guard Damian Lillard.
Last season, Lillard averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game in 58 games.
Suns Eyeing Blockbuster Trade for Damian Lillard
Lillard has constantly affirmed his loyalty to the city of Portland. But the truth is that he is way too talented of a player to not be playing meaningful basketball every year.
Lillard has not made it out of the first round since he and CJ McCollum took the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals in 2019. Portland has also been held out of the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time since 2012 and 2013.
After deciding to part ways with Paul, the GM told Deveney that there are going to be a lot of moving parts in Phoenix this offseason, but one imminent thing, they want to find a way to strike a deal for Lillard.
“There is a lot that can happen there, the Suns need depth all over that roster. They want to free up their payroll. They want to see if there is a way to bring in Dame (Lillard). They want to see what they can do with a DeAndre Ayton deal. There is a lot on the table,” the GM told Deveney.
“And the Lakers need to know where they are going with (D’Angelo) Russell. They’re not just letting him walk. They traded a pick for him. And who knows if they could get Chris (Paul) to sign a vet minimum deal or what?”
Should Portland Move On From Damian Lillard?
Lillard was drafted by the Trail Blazers in the 2012 Draft with the sixth overall pick. And although many people were shocked that Lillard, a guard from mid-major Weber State University, had been drafted so high, it wouldn’t be long before they understood why.
Despite going from being an underdog to one of the most coveted names in the league, Lillard has expressed his desire to bring a title to Portland, but up to this point, that fantasy appears to be just a pipe dream for Lillard.
Lillard’s loyalty to the Blazers won’t allow him to demand a trade from the franchise, and for that, it may be time for Portland to pull the plug themselves. The reason is that Lillard’s loyalty is now doing a disservice to both himself and the franchise.
The Blazers already have a wealth of young talent on their roster in Shaedon Sharpe and Anthony Simmons, and a host of others. They also own the third overall pick in this year’s draft, giving them a great foundation to start a rebuild. But a rebuild would be difficult with a player of Lillard’s caliber still in the locker room. Not only because he is a player that will likely command max money until he retires, but also because taking offensive touches away from the younger players could hinder their development.
The Blazers tried to win a title with Lillard at the helm, but unfortunately for both parties, it may be time to move on.