The Portland Trail Blazers lost in the first round once again this season, and there have been some changes in the franchise. One notable change has been the head coaching change. The franchise parted ways with Terry Stotts and has recently hired Chauncey Billups.
That has caused some backlash among some sections of the Portland Trail Blazers fanbase, and there has been a report from Chris Haynes that has suggested that the hiring may be one of the reasons Damian Lillard may request a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers.
One of the touted destinations has been the Boston Celtics. While Damian Lillard would be a good fit with the Portland Trail Blazers, a recent article by Darren Hartwell suggests that the Boston Celtics would have to part with Jaylen Brown to accomplish the trade.
There's a good chance you'll hear the Celtics come up as a potential trade destination for Lillard. Kendrick Perkins tabbed Boston as a "great fit" for Lillard earlier this month, while Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix noted on WEEI's "Tanguay and Hart" radio show that the C's are in "good position" to trade for the star point guard.
But here's the catch: Acquiring Lillard almost certainly would mean trading Jaylen Brown.
Lillard is set to make $39.3 million next season on the first year of a four-year, $176 million supermax extension. The Blazers wouldn't deal Lillard without landing an All-Star talent like Brown, who will make about $23 million in 2021-22 and would need to be the centerpiece of a multi-player deal.
Brown is a 24-year-old budding superstar on a favorable contract, so Portland might consider trading Lillard to rebuild around the two-time All-Star. That deal could make sense for the Blazers, but the Celtics should give it a hard pass.
While Lillard is a transcendent talent who would form a lethal duo with Jayson Tatum, he turns 31 in July and is making nearly double Brown's annual salary. Brown is a better defender and arguably has a higher ceiling after finishing his fifth NBA season.
There is no doubt that Damian Lillard is a top-tier point guard, and one of the best offensive players in the league. While he is obviously an elite player, it seems as though there are concerns within the article about giving up a young All-Star talent in Brown, who fits Jayson Tatum's timeline. A trade for Lillard would be a clear win-now move, and it would give the Boston Celtics one of the best duos in the game. It remains to be seen what the Boston Celtics will do in the offseason, and whether they end up making a move for Damian Lillard.