Under-the-radar trade destination No. 2: Houston Rockets
If the Houston Rockets manage to lure James Harden back to H-Town, they will need star players to roll out alongside him. Why not call up the Trail Blazers and try to get Lillard?
The backcourt tandem of Lillard and Harden may not be the best on the defensive end, but the star power alone should be enough to lead the way in Houston, especially with Ime Udoka’s defensive mind.
Houston has already been reportedly open to trading Jalen Green, so that makes sense, as does trading the fourth pick in a deal that would land them a perennial All-Star.
Giving up Tari Eason would probably sting the most for the Rockets, as he’s a solid defensive wing they could use alongside Lillard and Harden, but Portland needs players like that, too.
The Trail Blazers would get to pair Green alongside Simons and Shape, forming their new Big Three moving forward.
Adding the fourth pick would give them a chance to pick Amen Thompson, Cam Whitmore, or Ausar Thompson, too, giving them yet another elite prospect to work with.
Eason’s defensive presence would make him a great fit as well, and if they play their cards right, they could ask for a first-round pick that wouldn’t convey until Lillard and Harden have long since retired.
Potential starting lineups”
Trail Blazers: Anfernee Simons, Jalen Green, Shaedon Sharpe, Tari Eason, Jusuf Nurkic
Rockets: Damian Lillard, James Harden, Jae’Sean Tate, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun