Damian Lillard is expected to request a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers in the coming days, according to Henry Abbott of TrueHoop. His preferred teams are the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat.
In the past, Lillard has expressed his loyalty to “Rip City,” but with fans attacking him for the controversial hire of Chauncey Billups and the Blazers’ inability to build a true contender, that has Lillard wanting out of the only place he’s ever known throughout his playing career.
Lillard particularly has his eyes set on New York, according to Grant Afseth of Sports Illustrated. New York would be a great destination for the superstar guard, as the Knicks finally returned to the playoffs for the first time in eight years and marketing opportunities would be endless for his “Dame Time” or “Dame Dolla” brand.
Lillard would immediately form a great tandem with Julius Randle, as both guys can thrive off the pick-and-roll and can set each other up for great looks.
The Knicks would also get a great shot creator that can take over at any given moment and put up great performances night in and night out. Outside of Derrick Rose, the Knicks didn’t have too great of a shot creator, but Lillard would come in and clearly fix that.
The Lakers would obviously be a great fit as well, as Lillard can thrive just by being in the same presence of LeBron James and form a nice chemistry with Anthony Davis.
LeBron is obviously going to do LeBron things, but Lillard shot creation activity would take a ton of pressure off of him and allow LeBron to focus on being a great playmaker and not have to worry about carrying the load as a primary scorer all the time. We saw LeBron and Kyrie Irving form a great partnership on the court, so we can expect to see the same here.
The Warriors would be another great fit for the Oakland native, as he, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have all proven that they can be effective off the ball scorers. Dame will have his moments of playing in isolation, but his presence will draw double teams and free up the “Splash Brothers” to do their damage.
Golden State is not short on assets they can offer to Portland either, so this can potentially come to fruition.
The Heat are just one year removed from making the Finals, but adding Lillard would really open up their offense, especially the Heat’s mid-range game. Jimmy Butler can take advantage of the space he’d be afforded with and become much more deadly in the mid-range game.
The Philadelphia 76ers aren’t listed as one of the teams Lillard has interest in, but if the opportunity presents itself, Lillard might consider, as he and Joel Embiid can form a terrific one-two punch and help the Sixers finally get over the hump. The Blazers would also have to be convinced that Ben Simmons is a guy they can build around for the future.