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Stephen A. Smith Confirms Damian Lillard Would Like To Play For The New York Knicks If He Requests A Trade

Stephen A. Smith Confirms Damian Lillard Would Like To Play For The New York Knicks If He Requested A Trade

Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard was at the center of several trade rumors in the 2021 offseason, and it seems like these rumors are still hovering around the six-time All-Star. Dame has clamored to be surrounded by the right pieces to push for a championship as his heart is still set with Portland, but the organization has not done a great job at that.

Following the news of the firing of Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey for workplace misconduct, the conversation of Lillard's future with the franchise restarted. Dame has said repeatedly stated that he won't be leaving the Blazers. Yet, their tumultuous present could prompt the player to look for a new team. 

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith spoke on the matter in an episode of NBA Countdown alongside Michael Wilbon and Jalen Rose. When asked how the decisions of the organization will affect Dame Dollar, he had this to say (2:08):

"The only thing that would really really tickle him and make him entertain wanting to leave Portland, believe it or not, is going to the New York Knicks. There are people in his camp that would like to convince him to give Philadelphia stronger consideration."

"Damian Lillard knows that if he were in the mecca, it would be far easier for him to recruit teammates to wanna come and play with him as opposed to him being in the Pacific North-West."

To conclude, he said emphatically:

"The New York Knicks would be his No. 1 preference. Not the Lakers, not the Brooklyn Nets, not the Philadelphia 76ers."

The Trail Blazers have struggled so far this season, with Lillard also having a slow start. His shooting coming into the season was woeful, but he has started to find his rhythm. Lillard, who is currently unavailable for selection due to a lower abdominal strain, is averaging 21.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 7.8 assists so far this season. His shooting has been unimpressive as he is shooting 39.7% from the field and a career-low 30.2% from beyond the arc.