Laying out the New Orleans Pelicans proposal for Damian Lillard
Portland’s focus should be young players and draft capital. Trading Lillard means shifting to Scoot Henderson’s timeline. The 19-year-old rookie needs a few years to grow and develop before becoming a superstar.
The Trail Blazers may want a scorer or two to take the pressure off him as a rookie, but the focus should be on pieces that can help him make the franchise a contender in his third season.
Portland does not want C.J. McCollum, but the Pelicans have to trade him for salary-matching purposes in this hypothetical deal. The Clippers are searching for a guard and enter as a logical third team to take McCollum.
The Pelicans flip C.J. McCollum, Dyson Daniels, Kira Lewis Jr., and three first-round picks into Lillard. It gives them a Big 3 with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram flanking the seven-time All-Star point guard. The Pelicans are eager to contend. This trade gets them closer, but Zion must stay healthy for New Orleans to be a serious threat.
The Clippers trade Norman Powell, Marcus Morris Sr., and Brandon Boston Jr. for C.J. McCollum, which feels like a steal for LA. They want to trade Morris Sr. and Powell, so upgrading to a fringe-All-Star is a massive victory.
The Clippers and Pelicans would be on board, but do the Portland Trail Blazers trade Damian Lillard for that package?