Even though he's currently sidelined, Damian Lillard's name keeps getting thrown in trade rumors. The All-Star point guard hasn't had the best season in Oregon, yet plenty of teams remain interested in acquiring his services if the Portland Trail Blazers decide to move him.
According to recent reports, Dame would prefer to stay in his conference if the Blazers part ways with him. Whenever these trade rumors surface, people tend to think that teams won't help direct rivals trading their biggest star, but this time, Dame might have different plans.
Per NBA analyst Chad Ford, Lillard would favor a move to a Western Conference team instead of going to the East Coast.
“I don’t actually think that – at least nothing that I’ve heard of – has Damian Lillard insisting that it has to be Philadelphia, that he goes to. In fact, everything that I’ve heard is that he would prefer a move to the West coast or to stay on the West coast,” Ford said on Ford’s NBA Big Board, per HoopsHype.
This could be a pretty big deal for certain teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been linked with a move for Dame. Russell Westbrook hasn't performed as expected this campaign and some think he could be on the move before the trade deadline strikes.
Still, it doesn't look like Dame will arrive in Los Angeles via trade for Westbrook, but the Purple and Gold could find a way to lure Lillard away from Moda Center. More teams could benefit from having a player like Lillard, including the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, or Los Angeles Clippers.
Of course, this is all speculation, but if Dame decides it's time to leave Portland and look for a new challenge, he won't miss options to continue his career.