Pelicans Acquire Damian Lillard From Blazers In Massive Blockbuster Trade Proposal

Damian Lillard, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA trade rumors
NBA Analysis Network

One NBA writer is proposing that the New Orleans Pelicans acquire Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers in a massive blockbuster trade. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report proposed the following three-team trade between the Pelicans, Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers:

New Orleans Pelicans receive: Damian Lillard

Los Angeles Clippers receive: CJ McCollum

Portland Trail Blazers receive: Norman Powell, Marcus Morris Sr., Dyson Daniels, Brandon Boston Jr., Kira Lewis Jr., 2024 first-round pick (from NOP), 2026 first-round pick (from NOP) and 2027 first-round pick (from NOP via MIL)

Lillard wants the Blazers to trade him to the Miami Heat. However, Portland doesn’t have to honor the trade request since Lillard doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract.

The Pelicans would have a lethal Big 3 of Lillard, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram if New Orleans’ front office figured out a way to acquire Lillard from Portland.

“The more time passes without Damian Lillard being traded to the Miami Heat—his preferred destination—the more inviting it could become for someone else to swoop in for a seven-time All-Star who just averaged the most points (32.2 per game) on the best true shooting (64.5) of his storied career,” Buckley wrote in his latest NBA trade column. “The Pelicans should be that someone. If they ever got a healthy season out of Zion Williamson, they might have a contending-caliber twosome with him and Brandon Ingram. But that combo isn’t enough to separate from the many dynamic duos scattered across the NBA landscape.

“Turn that twosome into a Big Three with Lillard, though, and suddenly New Orleans has the talent to hang with anyone. Ingram, who just flirted with a 50/40/90 slash while averaging 24.7 points and 5.8 assists, would be the third option in this offense. This attack would obliterate even the stingiest defenses.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard, New Orleans Pelicans & Portland Trail Blazers Updates

Lillard averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists last season for the Blazers. He will make $46.6 million next season. The future Hall of Famer signed a two-year, $121.8 million extension with Portland in July 2022.

Lillard has spent all 11 seasons of his NBA career with Portland, which selected him with the sixth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Blazers finished 33-49 and 13th in the Western Conference last season. Lillard has unfollowed the Blazers on Instagram. The NBA star requested a trade from the Blazers to the Heat on July 1.

Miami has been working on a trade package for Lillard made up of expiring contracts, three to four first-round picks and one of the team’s younger players, with Tyler Herro going to a third team. The deal could potentially also involve second-rounders and draft pick swaps, according to NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Blazers, though, continue to show no interest in trading Lillard to the Heat, according to NBA insider Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Portland is seeking four first-round picks and two quality players in return for Lillard.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard, New Orleans Pelicans & Portland Trail Blazers Updates

It will be fascinating to see when/where Lillard gets traded. Thus far, the Pelicans haven’t been linked in any trade talks for Lillard, but that could change if the Heat and Blazers can’t agree on a deal.

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