Damian Lillard has been featured in a lot of trade speculation, that would have him leave the Portland Trail Blazers. While in past years one could have assumed that he would stay in Portland due to his loyalty, it seems as though this year could be different, as the Portland Trail Blazers underachieved once again.
There is no question that many franchises would try to send a package for Damian Lillard if he were on the trade market. Damian Lillard is widely viewed as a top 10 player in the league, and he would make many teams instant contenders. Here are the best trade packages for Damian Lillard.
7. Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Kyle Kuzma, Talen Horton-Tucker, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso (Sign and Trade), No. 22 Pick
The Los Angeles Lakers would certainly welcome the possibility of trading for Damian Lillard and making their superstar duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James a trio. Although their package isn't as great as some of the trade offers that others could field, it does have some enticing pieces. Talen Horton-Tucker is a promising guard who simply needs more playing time, and he is a good ballhandler who can score when given the opportunity. His potential would be the key appeal of this package.
Kyle Kuzma is a solid forward who can contribute on both ends if given the opportunity, and he'd certainly get more touches on the Trail Blazers. Montrezl Harrell would have to accept his player option for this deal to work, and perhaps he could fill the sixth man role on the Trail Blazers. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso would be the salary centerpieces of this deal, but they are both capable defenders who can space the floor.
While the only pick included in the deal is No. 22 from this season, perhaps the Trail Blazers could trade some of the veterans for picks down the line. While this clearly isn't the best package out there, it is possible that the Trail Blazers would accept if Damian Lillard specifically requested the Lakers when asking for a trade.
6. Miami Heat
Miami Heat Receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn (sign and trade), Duncan Robinson (sign and trade), KZ Okpala, Precious Achiuwa, Goran Dragic (sign and trade), 2026 first-round pick, 2028 second-round pick
The Miami Heat didn't end up trading for a superstar last season to pair with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, but perhaps they could rectify that mistake by acquiring Damian Lillard. The Miami Heat have a solid amount of young talent to give up. Tyler Herro would be the main young piece in this deal. Herro is a capable shot-creator, and he was a key reason for the Miami Heat's unlikely run to the NBA Finals during the 2019-20 season.
Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson would both have to agree to a sign and trade in order to move to the Trail Blazers, and it wouldn't be a bad option for either of them. If the Trail Blazers trade Damian Lillard, it will be likely that they're rebuilding, which means that Nunn and Robinson would likely get starting roles during the rebuild. KZ Okpala and Precious Achiuwa are both great athletes, and could potentially become great rotation players with development minutes.
Goran Dragic would be the salary piece in this deal, and he could potentially be kept for veteran presence on the roster, or traded later on for picks. While there wouldn't be a large number of picks associated with the Miami Heat package, they would be giving up some established talent while also sending out a future first-round pick and a future second-round pick. Overall, this is a solid deal for the Trail Blazers if they believe in the young players who were on the Miami Heat roster this season.
5. New York Knicks
New York Knicks Receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Frank Ntilikina (sign and trade), Obi Toppin, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 second-round pick
Damian Lillard going to the New York Knicks would allow him to go to a big market while pairing him with All-Star Julius Randle. Damian Lillard would give the New York Knicks another consistent scorer, which is something that they lacked in the playoffs. The New York Knicks would be giving up two promising young scorers in RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley in the deal, as well as two future picks as draft capital for the future. Those future assets could be enticing. RJ Barrett in particular could develop to be a two-way wing, something that is a great commodity in the modern NBA.
Obi Toppin was a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, but he didn't have a huge role under Tom Thibodeau due to the emergence of Julius Randle. It would be best if he could develop elsewhere, and perhaps the Portland Trail Blazers would be that place, as he'd get a lot of touches on a rebuilding team. Frank Ntilikina would be the salary centerpiece in this deal, but he is a capable perimeter defender, and could potentially improve on the offensive end. This combination of young picks and talent is enticing, but the Trail Blazers accepting this deal would depend on how much they value RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.
4. Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, Shake Milton, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 76ers first-round pick, 2026 76ers first-round pick
Damian Lillard and Joel Embiid would potentially be the best duo in the Eastern Conference: this trade package could potentially allow that to happen. We all know who Ben Simmons is and what he can do: he is a 3-time All-Star and an elite defender who was in the DPOY conversation this year, although he isn't necessarily a huge scorer. Perhaps moving to a small market in Portland will help his development in that area, as he will have less pressure to do so and can improve at his own pace.
Aside from Ben Simmons who is key for the package both talent and contract-wise, there are some other interesting players here. If the Portland Trail Blazers end up moving Ben Simmons to one of the forward positions and subsequently trading CJ McCollum for their rebuild, they will have room to play two promising guards in Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton. Both of them are capable scorers/shooters, and the Trail Blazers would have the time to wait and see what they would develop into. On top of the players, the 76ers would send out 3 future first-round picks, which is solid enough draft compensation for a superstar.
3. New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball (sign and trade), 2022 Lakers first-round pick, 2024 Pelicans first-round pick, 2025 Pelicans first-round pick
This trade from the New Orleans Pelicans would let them pair Zion Williamson and Damian Lillard, one of whom is unstoppable at the rim, with the other being unstoppable at the perimeter. It is likely they'd have to give up former All-Star Brandon Ingram. Brandon Ingram would give the Portland Trail Blazers a great scorer who can be a replacement for Lillard's offensive output. While Brandon Ingram isn't on Damian Lillard's level, he is a scorer that thrives in isolation, and he could potentially be the team's star for years to come.
The New Orleans Pelicans would also sign and trade Lonzo Ball in this scenario, as the Trail Blazers will also need a point guard with Lillard's departure. Lonzo Ball is a good facilitator and defender, while also being a capable shooter. While Lonzo Ball isn't a star point guard, he just had one of his best seasons shooting the ball, and he is a solid enough starting-caliber player. The three first-round picks would be the draft compensation for this deal. The New Orleans Pelicans definitely have exciting talent to offer, but it remains to be seen if it interests the Trail Blazers.
2. Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics Receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Aaron Nesmith, 2023 Celtics first-round pick, 2025 Celtics first-round pick
Pairing Jayson Tatum with Damian Lillard would be a solid move that gives the Boston Celtics a talent upgrade. They would have to give up Jaylen Brown, who is a capable two-way wing that just had his first All-Star appearance. However, Damian Lillard is a better offensive player who commands insane attention from the defense. Perhaps adding Lillard would allow the Celtics to reach the next level, and compete for a championship.
The Boston Celtics would also have to give up defensive guard Marcus Smart and shooter Aaron Nesmith in the deal, but it is a fair price to pay for a superstar. There will be two future first-rounders in this deal. Jaylen Brown would become the face of the Trail Blazers franchise if this deal were to go through, and perhaps the Trail Blazers would be intrigued with him as a No. 1 option. This trade package is one of the few that gives the Portland Trail Blazers a bonafide all-star, and perhaps that is the route the Trail Blazers will take with their rebuild, rather than young talent and picks.
1. Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors Receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, No. 7 pick, No. 14 pick
This trade would allow Damian Lillard to play for his hometown team, the Golden State Warriors. The salary centerpiece of this trade would be Andrew Wiggins, who is a capable two-way player who can slash to the rim and shoot from beyond the arc. While Wiggins is overpaid, he is a solid player who made strides in terms of defense and efficiency this season, and perhaps he could improve further if given a bigger role.
James Wiseman was the No. 2 overall pick from the 2020 NBA Draft. Though he showed his inexperience during his time with the Warriors, he also showed some of his skills and his athleticism. The No. 7 and No. 14 picks are both lottery picks in a good draft class, and they carry a fair bit of value. The Trail Blazers accepting this package would give them the tools for a full rebuild, and developing Wiseman and two lottery picks for the future while getting a capable two-way player isn't bad at all. It would also give Damian Lillard the opportunity to play in a system where he could thrive as well, and if he were to request the Golden State Warriors in a trade, the Trail Blazers would likely agree to his request.