The Damian Lillard Trade Saga could reach its conclusion by Monday, Oct. 2, as the Portland Trail Blazers reportedly want to move on from their franchise star by the beginning of training camp. More teams have been added to the Lillard rumor mill, but one in particular – not the Miami Heat – have become the “frontrunners” for Dame.
Here are the latest updates on Lillard and the Blazers with six days to go until media day and one week until the season official gets underway with camp.
Toronto Raptors considered ‘frontrunners’ in Damian Lillard trade
Per Marc Spears of ESPN, the Toronto Raptors have moved themselves to the front of the queue for the seven-time all-NBA point guard.
He did add, however, that nothing is imminent.
The most likely Raptors trade package would have OG Anunoby as its centerpiece, and the Trail Blazers are reportedly interested in Gradey Dick, who Toronto selected with the 13th pick in June’s draft.
Adding one of the NBA’s best defenders in Anunoby, who also shot 39 percent from three last year, and Dick, a 6-foot-8 forward who’s greatly undervalued as just a 3-point marksman, would be a much more attractive package than any other that’s been attached to Portland.
Still, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports claims Toronto’s interest in Lillard is real but “overstated.”
Milwaukee Bucks enter Damian Lillard rumors
The 2021 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks are the latest team to throw its hat into the ring for Dame, per Spears.
On its own, Milwaukee doesn’t have the assets to compete with other teams in a race for the 33-year-old star, but the dream of pairing Giannis Antetokounmpo with Lillard is drool-worthy.
Antetokounmpo’s recent statements about not signing his next contract with the Bucks if they’re not ready to compete for a title could make Milwaukee General Manager Jon Horst and the franchise desperate for a major move – Horst just doesn’t have the draft assets or young players to make a legitimate offer to the Blazers.
The Bucks join the Raptors, Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls as teams that have been mentioned in Lillard rumors.
Portland Trail Blazers want Lillard trade by media day
This year’s Blazers Media Day is set for Oct. 2, and according to Spears, that seems to be the (next) official deadline for a trade to be consummated.
Things have certainly picked up over the last 96 hours or so, but there haven’t been any reports of a concrete deal, and things seem to change by the minute, as evidenced by multiple reports claiming the Raptors are genuinely interested in Lillard and then a Toronto insider such as Lewenberg saying that interest is overstated.
The waiting game continues – but perhaps not for much longer (please).