Damian Lillard’s frustration with the Portland Trail Blazers has steadily been growing over the last couple of months.
It initially became somewhat detectable in early May, when he for the first time in his illustrious career expressed an openness to being traded. Prior to that, he had been steadfast in his criticism of players jumping around and forming super teams rather than sticking with their organizations.
And then it became really noticeable this past weekend, when he snapped on Twitter with a series of controversial messages.
Early Sunday, Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Chris Haynes reported that Lillard was nearing his limit in Portland and could demand a trade.
“The backlash from Portland Trail Blazers’ coaching search and his concerns over whether a championship contender can be built have become major factors that could force Damian Lillard to request out,” Haynes wrote.
If a trade does occur, the New Orleans Pelicans have quietly emerged as a very legitimate contender for Lillard’s services.
According to NBA insider Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, New Orleans would be willing to go so far as to trade Brandon Ingram in a deal that would net them Lillard.
“Pelicans are willing to part ways with Brandon Ingram in hopes of getting Damian Lillard,” he wrote.
“Pels are also willing to part ways with multiple first round picks that they acquired in the Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday deals.”
Mind you, this isn’t the first time Ingram has been thrown out by the Pelicans as trade bait in the past week.
New Orleans has a massive amount of picks to work with.
Thanks to the aforementioned Davis and Holiday swaps, they have up to nine first rounders through 2028 that they can use as a bargaining chip. Aside from the Oklahoma City Thunder, nobody else in the league has that sort of bounty.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
This is going to be an interesting next few weeks for the Blazers. There are four teams out there that are circling the waters, desperately trying to work out a trade for Lillard.
If a resolution can’t be reached between Portland and their 30-year-old superstar, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to suddenly see chatter regarding a possible deal with one of those clubs intensify.