Damian Lillard is one of the hottest names in the NBA right now after his Portland Trail Blazers were eliminated from playoffs contention by the Denver Nuggets. Even after Dame put up big performances, the team failed to beat Nikola Jokic and co., raising many questions about the player's future in the league.
Following Terry Stotts firing after nine years of relationship with the team, fans wondered if this was the beginning of the end for Blazers. Several teams have been linked to the point guard in recent days, including big-market organizations ready to land a player to compete for the championship.
One of those is the Los Angeles Lakers, who failed to win this season after a first-round elimination at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. Plenty of fans believe Dame joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis would be huge for them, but Lillard hasn't said anything about requesting a trade from Portland.
NBA fans have found old footage to support these claims, including one where LeBron praised Lillard and even said that he'd be very appreciated if they joined forces in Cleveland. Asked if Dame was underappreciated, Bron said:
“No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so, but he definitely uses that. I like how he uses that. If you’re a true basketball (mind) — there’s not a lot of true basketball minds and people that understand the game — but for me, I understand it. I know.”
“Give me Damian Lillard. I’ll show you how appreciated he’ll be.”
This is still a long shot, but LeBron and Dame could end up playing together next season. Portland has a lot of work to do to build the best team for Dame. If he doesn't see any improvement, it'll be time to ask for a trade that puts him in a better position to win a championship.
Would that be the Los Angeles Lakers? It remains to be seen.