Grade the Trade: Blazers take no-brainer swing in proposed Lillard deal

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports /
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Time is running out if the Portland Trail Blazers hope to complete a Damian Lillard trade before the start of training camp.

With most NBA teams set to report on Oct. 3, the Blazers have a little more than a month to find a way to consummate a deal, if that indeed is the target date. And with the Blazers’ opening game of the 2023-24 season set for Oct. 25, it gives the team less than two months before a season dedicated to the future becomes a media circus nightmare.

When will the Portland Trail Blazers find a trade for Damian Lillard?

As it’s been from the beginning, it’s the Miami Heat or bust for Dame. Also as it’s been from the beginning, Portland General Manager Joe Cronin and the Blazers’ front office has no desire accept whatever package the Heat has offered to this point.

Miami has reportedly tabled a deal that includes as much as three or four first-round picks, a young player and some second-rounders, but Cronin is holding out for more in a deal that would send his best player to a title contender.

It would appear that, at some point, either the Heat has to offer more if they hope to bring Lillard to South Beach, or the Blazers have to drum up interest in him from somewhere else. In terms of a return that’s best for Portland, option No. 2 would be the way to go.

Especially if it comes in the form of a recently proposed trade that would give Lillard a chance to contend for a title while bringing a potential franchise superstar to Portland.