5 Under-the-radar players Blazers should target in a Damian Lillard trade

Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks, Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks, Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls, Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports /

Blazers Lillard trade target No. 4: Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls

Patrick Williams would be a great addition to the Blazers’ roster in terms of positional needs and fitting the new-look timeline as they head into a rebuild. Williams, the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, is still just 21 years old.

Williams has displayed promising statistics so far in his three-year NBA career. Last season, he averaged 10.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.9 blocks, and 0.9 steals per game on impressive 46/42/86 shooting splits. While Williams has improved his free-throw shooting from 73.2 percent to 85.7 percent, his progress since his rookie season hasn’t met some expectations.

Nevertheless, he has maintained similar numbers and is already a solid starting forward.

Williams boasts a defensive real plus-minus of 1.74, highlighting his defensive contributions on the court. With a 6-foot-8 frame, Williams is a switchable and versatile defender. He’d be a great fit next to the Blazers’ emerging core of guards.

Henderson, Sharpe, and Simons could provide the scoring punch, while Williams can be the complementary two-way forward, providing the intangibles associated with winning outside of scoring.

Portland needs help at the forward positions regardless, but another factor that would make Williams a great addition is the future of Jerami Grant. Grant just signed a lucrative five-year, $160 million contract. However, his future in Portland is murky following the news of Lillard’s trade request.

Williams can play alongside Grant if he stays, but would be an addition as insurance for the forward position if Portland decides to move on from Grant eventually.

Chicago is a team in need of a shake-up; it could make sense for them to get involved in a trade with the Blazers, likely as the third team that receives someone outside of Lillard.