NBA rumors: By now, some of us (or most of us?) have grown tired of the Damian Lillard trade rumors to the Miami Heat. Despite the fact that the Heat and the Portland Trail Blazers are probably working hard behind the scenes to make a deal work, the reality is that all the momentum has now died down on what could easily be the biggest trade of the summer.
At this point, it remains unclear who this extended lull will favor. However, it wouldn’t be a complete shock if a handful of other teams suddenly try and hijack this deal at the last minute. After all, this is Dame Lillard we’re talking about here.
NBA Rumors: Jazz Accelerate Timeline Significantly With Damian Lillard Trade
Andy Bailey and his colleagues at Bleacher Report have now conjured up a list of teams that could potentially risk it all by trading for Damian Lillard. No. 1 on the list is the Utah Jazz, who are coming off a surprise breakout season. After trading away Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert last summer, Lauri Markkanen shocked the NBA by emerging as one of the top big men in the league. As it turns out, all the 7-foot forward needed was the opportunity.
Bailey points out that a pairing of Markkanen and Lillard would instantly elevate the Jazz as one of the top contenders in the West:
“Pairing Lillard with him would instantly give Utah one of the most dynamic offensive duos in basketball. And if Walker Kessler remained to anchor the defense, the Jazz would have the makings of something special,” Bailey wrote.
The caveat here — apart of course from the massive haul the Jazz will need to give up — is the fact that Lillard is already 33, and he does not fall within Utah’s current timeline. Then again, this would put the Jazz in a position to win now, thereby accelerating their timetable significantly.
NBA Rumors: Timberwolves Go All-In on Damian Lillard
Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz believes that the Minnesota Timberwolves could be a possible landing spot for Lillard. He suggests that the Wolves pull the plug on Karl-Anthony Towns after last season proved that his partnership with Rudy Gobert just didn’t work out. The Blazers would not want KAT, so they will need to bring in a third team like the Atlanta Hawks to help facilitate the deal.
According to Swartz, a backcourt pairing of Anthony Edwards and Damian Lillard would be a terrifying prospect for the rest of the NBA:
“Everything Minnesota does moving forward should be about maximizing the roster around Edwards, even if that means trading Towns. With Conley set to turn 36 in October and with just one season remaining on his contract, bringing in Lillard as the long-term answer at point guard to pair with Edwards would create the most lethal backcourt in the NBA. Both are under contract for the next four-to-six seasons as well,” Swartz wrote.
That’s actually not a bad idea. Gobert will still be in the mix as Minnesota’s defensive stalwart, and with Lillard and Edwards holding things down on offense, the Timberwolves instantly become a more well-rounded team, and perhaps, a legitimate threat to the title.
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Frequently Asked Questions
No, Damian Lillard has not been traded to the Miami Heat or any other team. The Portland Trail Blazers have not made any trades involving Damian Lillard, despite his preference for the Heat as a potential destination.
Damian Lillard is out of the game due to a calf injury. Unfortunately, it has been reported that he will miss the remainder of the 2022-2023 season.
The Utah Jazz ranks 12th in the latest Western Conference power rankings. This placement is a reflection of the team's performance and position amongst the other teams in the conference.