The Toronto Raptors have emerged as prominent players in the Damian Lillard Sweepstakes over the past 48 hours.
For most of the offseason, the Miami Heat have been the team most prominently linked to Lillard.
In the aftermath, two new frontrunners for Lillard’s services emerged, with one in particular taking center stage this week: the Raptors.
According to NBA insider Michael Grange, things are progressing in the right direction for Toronto as it pertains to a deal involving Lillard.
“By all accounts, the Raptors seem at least reasonably confident they can maneuver their way to the front of the line, past the Miami Heat—Lillard’s preferred destination—and ahead of a team such as the Brooklyn Nets, who have the draft picks to get something done if Portland is open to taking on the last two years of Ben Simmons’ contract,” he wrote.
“The Orlando Magic could also make themselves heard, per sources.”
Grange also added, “progress has been made,” on a potential trade. That said, he did caution that something getting officially finalized was still a long ways away.
Lillard has obviously explained why he wants to go to Miami. Everyone knows his rationale at this point. But it might not matter.
The Blazers are going to take the best offer available to them, and at the moment it doesn’t like the Heat are bringing enough to the table.
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Obviously the threat of Lillard being unhappy looms, but if there one franchise that isn’t afraid of that, it is the Raptors.
Toronto took a bet on a disgruntled Kawhi Leonard, won a championship and let him walk away after one year. It is one of the most successful gambles in NBA history to this day.
Will something similar occur with the Raptors and Lillard? Time will tell.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.