Grade the trade: Blazers swap superstars in proposed 4-team Lillard deal

James Harden, Brooklyn Nets; Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
James Harden, Brooklyn Nets; Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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James Harden and Zach LaVine are part of a proposed trade that lands Damian Lillard with the Heat.
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls; James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Four-team trade includes Blazers, Heat, 76ers and Bulls

Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report proposed the following four-team trade with the goal of making everyone involved with these superstars happy. Or happy-ish.

Here’s the complicated deal in its entirety with a ton of moving parts:

  • Trail Blazers receive: James Harden, Kyle Lowry, Jaime Jacquez, Nikola Jović, 2028 first-round pick from Miami, 2030 first-round pick from Miami, 2030 second-round pick from Chicago
  • Miami Heat receive: Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkić, 2029 second-round pick from Philadelphia, 2028 second-round pick from Chicago
  • Philadelphia 76ers receive: Zach LaVine, Tyler Herro, 2029 second-round pick from Portland
  • Chicago Bulls receive: Tobias Harris, Caleb Martin, Keon Johnson, 2029 first-round pick swap with Philadelphia, 2030 first-round pick from Philadelphia

Before touching on whether or not this is a good deal for the Blazers, the trade has to be unpacked in full.

First, the Heat get what they want by landing Lillard. Jusuf Nurkic – seemingly considered a Lillard tax at this point – also goes to Miami along with a few second-round picks. Goal accomplished.

Second, 76ers General Manager Daryl Morey is claiming he’s only willing to trade Harden for a player who would keep Philly in title contention. Do two good players in LaVine and Herro equal the one star Morey is holding out for?

Third, the Bulls decide to leave Eastern Conference mediocrity behind, instead kicking off a rebuild, or at least a retool. They send away four years and $178 million worth of LaVine in exchange for a first-round pick, a swap, salary filler and Harris’ $39.2 million expiring deal.

But is this a good trade for the Trail Blazers?