Grade the trade: Blazers deal Lillard to Celtics in latest lose-lose proposal

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (front), Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (front), Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Robert Williams III could be part of the Blazers return from the Celtics in a Damian Lillard trade.
Robert Williams, Boston Celtics (center) (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Trail Blazers would be trading Damian Lillard for a poo-poo platter

This isn’t a huge win from Portland’s perspective, either. Brogdon is an OK guard who would essentially take Lillard’s spot on the roster, but a major injury is always just a step away with him. Pritchard showed some promise as a reserve guard and shooter as a rookie before falling out of Boston’s rotation last year.

Hauser is inexpensive and a 6-foot-8, 250-pound floor spacer, while Kornet isn’t much more than a small expiring contract, although Portland could use some extra size, even if it’s from average to below-average players.

The attractive pieces of this return are Williams III and a few future Celtics first-round picks (perhaps). Let’s break that down:

  • Williams is one of the best defensive centers in the NBA when healthy. His athleticism and ability to play as an explosive rim-runner next to Scoot Henderson would be a boon for the Blazers’ offense – or at least it would be if he were on the floor, which he rarely is. RWIII has played 209 total games in five NBA seasons and has only played in more than 52 once.
  • A top-four protected Warriors pick next season will almost certainly end up as a late-20s selection.
  • A Celtics pick just one year later, after a season in which Boston will still have Tatum, Lillard and White – and this is assuming they get rid of Brown, somehow, to save money, which is unlikely – will also probably end up in the late 20s.
  • A 2027 Celtics first sounds a little more promising for Portland, but Lillard and Tatum, at the very least, should still be in Boston. That means another pick that likely lands in the back half of the first round.
  • A 2029 first-round selection via Boston is the most alluring from the Blazers perspective, but it’s also top-five protected, so if the Celtics really do bottom out after all this, there’s still a chance Portland doesn’t land a high draft pick.

Next. Blazers projected starting lineup after imminent Lillard trade. dark

Is this trade package from the Celtics better than what’s been rumored to be coming out of Miami? For sure. And maybe the Blazers simply can’t do much better. But a quartet of first-round picks that don’t sound promising and a center who can’t stay on the floor doesn’t do much for Portland’s future.