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5 Teams Emerge As Legit Damian Lillard Trade Candidates

5 Teams Emerge As Legit Damian Lillard Trade Candidates

Damian Lillard’s increasingly loud dissatisfaction with the Portland Trail Blazers is the NBA’s worst kept secret at this point.

The Chauncey Billups hiring was clearly the most notable thing to damage the relationship between Lillard and the organization, but frustrations had been building for a while over other things too.

Although Lillard has outwardly expressed a desire to remain in Portland, where there’s smoke there’s fire. And it’s no accident that there is so much chatter regarding him possibly getting traded in the near future.

If Lillard does get dealt, five very serious suitors have emerged for his services.

“Multiple front-office sources say the Heat, Kings, Knicks, Rockets, and Sixers have recently been the most aggressive suitors,” according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

“Front-office executives say that if the Blazers eventually move Lillard, they can expect a return rivaling or surpassing what the Nets gave up for James Harden: multiple young players, plus three first-round picks and four first-round pick swaps. Harden is a former MVP, but he had only two guaranteed seasons left on his contract at the time of the trade.

“Portland could do even better because Lillard has four seasons remaining on his contract worth a grand total of $176 million. The long-term security in Lillard’s contract could lead to more interest from teams and more return in a trade.”

The king’s ransom that Lillard can command should come as no surprise. He is a superstar in the prime of his career.

That said – not everyone believes a trade is on the horizon. Lillard’s teammate, Enes Kanter, doesn’t see his team’s leader leaving.

“I’ve said this in many interviews: he’s the most loyal player I have ever seen in the league,” he said recently.

“…Everytime I go to a basketball camp, kids are always asking if Dame’s going to leave. I don’t think so. I think Dame loves the Blazers and the Portland fans so much. Obviously he wants a championship team, but one thing, he wants to bring a championship to Portland. That’s what people don’t understand. He wants to win a championship like every other player yes. But he wants to do it all in Portland.”

If the Blazers ultimately decide to move him, Lillard has expressed interest in two teams and has one in particular that he’d really enjoy playing for.

Will he ultimately get dealt at some point over the next year? Time will tell.

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Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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