Grade the trade: Trail Blazers stock up, Lillard joins Zion in wild proposal

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The Portland Trail Blazers are facing a franchise-altering decision on Damian Lillard’s trade request. The seven-time All-Star wants to join the Miami Heat, but the Blazers have zero interest in their best offer. It creates a standoff, and neither side is giving in.

Lillard has a decision to make as training camp approaches. He is just starting a four-year $176.2 million extension that features a player option in 2026-27. The legend has to report to camp with the only team he has ever known or fines will come. Lillard could hold out or even double down on his trade request after arriving. The 6’2 guard may expand his wish list to feature multiple teams.

The Blazers must wait for the top offer to trade arguably the best player in franchise history. Portland knows other teams can and will offer more for Dame, but even those packages get reduced if Lillard does not want to play for the franchise.

Will the Portland Trail Blazers trade Damian Lillard to a team other than the Heat?

The Blazers have a talented roster behind Lillard, which makes this trade even more important. Scoot Henderson could be special, and Portland hopes to help Shaedon Sharpe and Anfernee Simons blossom into All-Stars. If they can add another young piece or two, the Trail Blazers could quickly jump back into contention with an exciting future.

Portland needs to find the right team if Dame is firm on being traded. Expect others to make offers, including some young squads that are hungry to jump into contention. The New Orleans Pelicans are the perfect example, and Bleacher Report proposed a hypothetical trade that is worth considering.

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