After more than two months with no real news, it appears a Damian Lillard trade is coming within the next few days, according to multiple sources. The Portland Trail Blazers star could be on the move, likely to the Miami Heat, by the time training camp starts on Oct. 3. The Lillard rumors go even deeper, suggesting that a “dark horse” third team may be involved in the trade with a former No. 1 overall pick heading back to Portland.
Portland Trail Blazers want Damian Lillard trade done by training camp
Portland wants to move on from their 33-year-old guard by Oct. 3, according to multiple sources.
Danny Marang of 1080 The Fan in Portland reported it:
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported it, saying, “I don’t know what their offers are but I think they are making an attempt to resolve this before training camp“:
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald had sources confirm it, adding that this is the first time he’s felt like the Blazers “would like to make (a) deal before camp”:
As noted by all three, this Lillard rumor is contingent upon the Trail Blazers finding a deal to their liking.
However, it certainly seems like a conclusion to this saga is coming soon, as further reporting specifically mentioned a third team willing to help facilitate a deal between Portland and Miami.
The Phoenix Suns could be a third team in a Lillard trade and send Deandre Ayton to the Blazers
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in Phoenix fueled the fire by saying a Damian Lillard trade will happen sometime today (Sept. 22). He mentioned the first overall pick in the 2018 draft, center Deandre Ayton, as the main piece going back to Portland, and that the Suns would have interest in a swap of Ayton for Blazers’ center Jusuf Nurkic.
Gambadoro argued that Nurkic would be an upgrade over Phoenix’s current big man because of his fit as a defensive anchor in new Suns Head Coach Frank Vogel’s scheme.
Lillard demanded a trade on July 1 and named the Heat as his preferred and only destination shortly after. Since then, it’s been mostly radio silence.
However, news and rumors began to slowly trickle in a little faster this week, and with these latest reports, it appears one of the biggest NBA stories of the summer is about to come to a close, with the Trail Blazers moving on and rebuilding around a young trio of Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe and Anfernee Simons.
Although, it should be noted – if Ayton joins that group and Jerami Grant and Matisse Thybulle remain in Portland, the Blazers will have the talent to make some noise as a surprise team in the Western Conference as quickly as this season.