Last offseason was really moved for both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets. They made big moves that took their squads to the next level, with the Lakers bringing Anthony Davis and the Nets pairing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
They could have a different lineup this season if they pull off another bold move in the summer of 2019. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Lakers wanted to pair Damian Lillard with LeBron James and the Nets wanted the point guard to join Kevin Durant.
A source with knowledge of Lillard’s situation said there was Lakers interest in a superstar pairing with Lillard and LeBron James before the Davis deal went down in June 2019. What’s more, the source said there was a Brooklyn Nets scenario that never evolved which could have paired Kevin Durant with Lillard last summer if only he’d shown any interest (this was before Kyrie Irving’s inclusion had truly crystallized). Of course some of the game’s biggest stars, and/or the power brokers tied to them, have inquired about the possibility of Lillard pushing his way out to come join them.
All it would have taken is for Lillard to send up that bat signal signifying he was ready for a change, and his tale could have turned. But he never did. After he signed that four-year, $196 million supermax extension in June 2019, and considering his level of personal investment in the Trail Blazers organization, coach Terry Stotts and teammates like C.J. McCollum and Nurkic, there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon.
As Amick says, and as we all remember, Lillard signed a max extension instead. However, that hasn't prevented rumors from suggesting he could be playing for a different team next season. It will be interesting to see how other franchises manage this given his huge contract, but Lillard keeps drawing a lot of attention around the league.
For this year, we can only imagine what he would've done with the Nets while waiting for Kevin Durant to recover from his injury or how a duo of him and LeBron would have looked; perhaps it would've had Kobe-Shaq or Magic-Kareem vibes. We just don't know.
The Blazers were on the verge of getting eliminated before teams decided to boycott yesterday's games. Perhaps this season is the last one of Lillard in Portland and he'll try his luck with a different organization next year.