There is some speculation that the Trail Blazers could be trading Lillard after he posted a cryptic message on Instagram following the Game 6 loss to the Denver Nuggets. If Portland opts to trade Lillard, that likely means the franchise is going into a rebuild. Dame being traded away is highly unlikely, however, there will be teams knocking on Portland’s door asking for his availability.
It’s difficult to imagine what Lillard would cost via trade, but for Portland to dish him away, they’d have to receive a haul. He’s the face of the Blazers franchise and they’re a playoff-contender as long as he’s on the roster. Even so, the Lakers are an organization that will do anything to improve their team around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They could be the franchise to offer a trade Portland can’t refuse.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that Lillard appeared to hint that he wants to be traded to the Lakers. Although it is all speculation, LA fans will certainly want that.
To acquire Damian Lillard, the Purple and Gold would have to give up picks and players. Lillard won’t come cheap, as he’s one of the best point guards in the league. With that said, here are two realistic trades the Lakers could make to acquire Damian Lillard.
2. Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma & 2 first-round picks
Dennis Schroder is due to hit free agency, so he’d have to be re-signed before being traded. Packaging him with Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma gives the Trail Blazers some talented players to work with. Schroder is a very capable point guard who is solid on the defensive end, Harrell is an athletic freak who never seems to tire, and Kuzma would be a high-end role player in Portland’s lineup.
The two first-round picks from the Lakers sweeten the deal, giving Portland some capital for future drafts down the road. In this deal, Portland receives a point guard to replace Lillard, a power forward/center to help down low, and a small forward to help on the perimeter. Rip City would possibly still be competitive in the Western Conference, especially with Chauncey Billups now at the helm.
1. Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, & 3 first-round picks
Andre Drummond is in a similar position as Schroder is, as he would have to be re-signed by the Lakers first. However, packaging him alongside Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and three first-round picks could be a deal that sways the Blazers front office into trading Lillard away.
Drummond had it rough this year, but once he joined LA, he proved to be a solid center once again. His interior defense would be much welcomed in Portland, and his athleticism can’t be ignore. Caldwell-Pope is a solid 3-point shooter that fits the Trail Blazers’ offense well, and the three first-round selections gives Portland the pieces for a rebuild.
Portland tends to like to have two solid centers in their rotation, as we’ve seen the team roster featuring Enes Kanter and Hassan Whiteside Adding Drummond into the mix and letting Kanter walk gives the Blazers a starting caliber center at all times. Additionally, their 3-point shooting wouldn’t fade since the team would still have deadly shooters to stretch the court.