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Rival NBA Executives Believe The Portland Trail Blazers Will 'Dangle' The No. 7 Pick In Trade Talks To Maximize Damian Lillard’s Prime

Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic

Amid another disappointing and underwhelming season, the Portland Trail Blazers made a series of moves at the deadline that shipped many of their starters out of town.

This summer, the team will be working hard to re-shape and re-tool the roster around Damian Lillard, and the No. 7 overall pick could be the key to getting a high-impact player.

Executives around the league believe trading that pick is part of Portland's ultimate plan.

(via HoopsHype):

Rival NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype believe the Trail Blazers will dangle the No. 7 overall pick in trade talks for an immediate roster upgrade to maximize the prime of Damian Lillard, who was on hand for a workout with a projected lottery pick, AJ Griffin.

With Lillard now 31, the pressure is on the Blazers to build a contender around him. If they really want to make some noise next season, they'll have to bring in another star -- and a few have already been exposed as potential targets.

"Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine are potential targets, according to sources. Lillard befriended Beal through their experience with Team USA, and the Wizards star has a player option for next season. So he could make his way to Portland either as a free agent or via trade. Though Beal and LaVine present some similar defensive issues as CJ McCollum did next to Lillard, either of them would undeniably make the Blazers better with their shot-creation."

No matter what Portland does over the next few months, it is imperative they bring Lillard some much-needed help. With CJ gone, there is no co-star on the team, which means the front office will have to go out and find one.

And while the No. 7 pick is not where Portland wanted to be in the draft, it might still help them get better as a team and finally become a force to be feared in the wild Western Conference.