The Portland Trail Blazers parted ways with Terry Stotts after a disappointing first round playoff defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets.
Although the move was understandable, it also reeked a bit of desperation. The overwhelming feeling right now is that Portland has a very limited window to build a contender around team star Damian Lillard – else he might demand a trade.
If the Blazers fail in their mission to retain Lillard, one team has already prepared a trade package it believes will be enough to pry him away.
That team? The New York Knicks.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, New York thinks it has the pieces necessary to get something done for Lillard.
“The Knicks, desperate for a point guard, believe they have assets and cap space to make a trade for a star such as Lillard,” Berman wrote.
“In addition, Knicks assistant coach Johnnie Bryant is a mentor of Lillard’s from their native Oakland, Calif. The Knicks have five first-round picks over the next three years. In the upcoming draft, they have three picks in the top 31 — including two first-rounders at 19 and 21.
“The Knicks are likely willing to include three first-round picks in a Lillard deal and have the cap space to make a transaction smoother mathematically.”
Yikes Adrien Broner https://t.co/6PvzjfA3yH
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 14, 2021
Of course, the Knicks are not alone in their pursuit of Lillard. Three other teams are also very much in the running.
A lot will hinge on who Portland hires to be the next head coach. Jason Kidd made it abundantly clear why he had no interest in the position, and if other candidates express similar levels of disinterest, the timeline on Lillard’s exit might move up faster than anyone realized.
Buckle up – this promises to be an interesting next few months to be a Blazers fan.