Stephen A. Smith’s bold claim on Damian Lillard trade to Knicks
That’s at least what ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is insisting:
Smith explains that Lillard believes "in the New York market, unlike in Portland, it would be considerably easier for him to pull off getting guys to want to come to play with him… guys like a Jayson Tatum down the line, like a Joel Embiid down the line, guys like that."
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) August 1, 2021
The Knicks have been viewed as a favorite to land Lillard if he were to be traded. New York has a number of assets it could put on the table in a Lillard trade that would be helpful for a Blazers rebuild.
It also makes sense if Lillard wants to play in a big market like New York after spending the entirety of his career to this point in Portland. It’s easier to recruit players to New York as opposed to Portland.
Of course, there have been plenty of rumors like this over the years when it comes to superstars and the Knicks, and they usually don’t pan out. While a trade does make sense, nothing is a guarantee here when it comes to Damian Lillard.
For now, Lillard wants to see what the Blazers do this offseason before making any firm decision on his future. It’s a good bet that he’ll start the season in Portland.
But if things go awry, the Knicks will obviously be ready to pounce, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they’re on Dame’s list of preferred destinations.