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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A Damian Lillard-Zion Williamson trade would be a win for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Acquiring Zion Williamson for Damian Lillard would be a major win for Blazers

Zion is a one-of-one in terms of NBA athletes. Or perhaps human athletes in general.

His size (6-foot-6, 280 pounds) combined with his explosive leaping ability and body control is truly amazing to watch. It’s part of what gives him superstar status in the league despite playing only 114 games over four seasons.

Henderson’s already-developed skill set as a pick-and-roll maestro at age 19 is the perfect pairing for a lob threat like Williamson. Those two would get Moda Center rocking and social media buzzing with highlight after highlight.

Scoot isn’t a slouch of an athlete himself – nor is Sharpe – while Simons’ ability to create his own offense or spot up at the three-point line and space the floor for that Henderson-Williamson pick-and-roll only makes this potential Portland offense even more explosive.

Are there defensive concerns? Certainly. But the Blazers aren’t a championship-or-bust team, so there would be time and patience (and an extra first-round pick, in this case) to figure it out.

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Portland’s main concern comes in the form of Zion’s health. But if given the choice between these two packages:

  • 3 or 4 first-rounders from the Miami Heat plus Nikola Jovic (or a similar deal)
  • Zion Williamson

The risk is worth the potential reward.