Grade the trade: Blazers take flier on ex-NBA superstar in Lillard proposal

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Trail Blazers fans can’t catch a break. Literally. There was supposed to be a nice, relaxing few days off from the Damian Lillard trade drama to watch Scoot Henderson show off in the 2023 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

That break lasted a whole two quarters before Scoot hurt his shoulder. There’s still some Kris Murray, Jabari Walker, or Ibou Badji to watch, but no more Scoot-Victor Wembanyama matchup, at least, and Henderson’s return to summer league in general remains up in the air.

So it’s time to revisit the new old standby.

Where will Damian Lillard get traded and what will the Blazers get in return?

Nothing has changed on Dame’s front: It’s the Miami Heat or bust. The question that (still) remains is whether or not Portland General Manager Joe Cronin is willing to send Lillard to South Beach if he can dig up a better return somewhere else.

And he can dig up a better return basically anywhere else.

The Heat’s best trade chips are young players like Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez Jr., along with future first-round picks that will more than likely land somewhere near the 20s. It’s uninspiring, especially considering the Blazers don’t have any use for Miami’s best young player, Tyler Herro.

This is where things get interesting, and there’s a chance interesting could become interesting.