If the Portland Trail Blazers want to complete a Damian Lillard trade before training camp, they have six days. If general manager Joe Cronin doesn’t find a deal to his liking, he’ll presumably head into the 2023-24 season bombarded with updates on Lillard rumors until he finally does move his future Hall of Fame point guard.
Any potential trade still revolves around the Miami Heat as Dame’s preferred landing spot. However, the Toronto Raptors have reportedly become the favorites to acquire Lillard, and Cronin is apparently no longer in communication with Heat President Pat Riley.
Meanwhile, a handful of other franchises linger as either Lillard suitors or teams willing to take advantage of a chaotic situation and squeeze themselves into a trade.
One recently proposed three-team deal, for instance, has the Blazers landing a pair of young players who would complete the team’s starting five of the future.
Blazers add to star-laden young core in 3-team Damian Lillard trade proposal
Portland is set to build around the backcourt duo of 19-year-old Scoot Henderson and 20-year-old Shaedon Sharpe. Anfernee Simons, already an established NBA scorer, is just 24.
The Trail Blazers re-signed Jerami Grant to a massive contract this summer, while other veterans, such as Jusuf Nurkic and Matisse Thybulle, are still around as likely starters and adults in the room.
There’s a good chance, though, that those three will have left Portland by the time Scoot and Sharpe help the Blazers (potentially) become contenders again, and right now, the franchise’s goal is to develop its youth.
So what if Cronin found a way to deal Dame and add even more young talent to that core?