The Damian Lillard saga has been a wild one this summer, with him expressing his desire to be traded to the Miami Heat after requesting to be moved from the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Trail Blazers indicating that they will take the best deal, regardless of the destination. The Toronto Raptors have recently been named as a team interested in Damian Lillard, and teams around the league have become convinced that they are in on the star, according to Marc Stein.
“The Toronto Raptors have convinced numerous teams around the league that their interest in trading for Lillard is genuine,” Stein wrote in his newsletter. “The uncertainty at this point stems more from gauging Toronto's true willingness to push all the way forward with its Lillard pursuit when it's believed the All-Star guard, behind the scenes, remains resistant to the idea of becoming a Raptor.”
This would not be the first time that the Raptors trade for a star player who might not want to stay long term. They did it with Kawhi Leonard, and it resulted in them winning their first NBA Championship. It makes sense that they would be at least doing their due diligence when it comes to Lillard, given that the Raptors are not known as a free agent destination.
With training camp approaching, it will be interesting to see if the Trail Blazers are motivated to finally make the Lillard trade. That was the case last summer when Donovan Mitchell was traded from the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Although Lillard desires to go to the Heat, it is a mystery as to where he will be playing this season.