Source: Knicks Could Be ‘Mystery Team’ Trying To Acquire Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA trade rumors
NBA Analysis Network

There’s a mystery team in the Eastern Conference trying to trade for Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, according to NBA insider Marc J. Spears of ESPN, and that team could be the New York Knicks, per a former NBA executive who spoke to NBA Analysis Network.

“There are a few teams talking with Portland about Lillard in addition to Miami,” the former NBA exec said. “The Knicks could be the main mystery team that everyone is talking about. A huge goal for New York is finding a way to land Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lillard and Giannis have wanted to team up for quite some time.”

Lillard requested to be traded from the Blazers to only the Miami Heat on July 1. However, the Blazers can trade Lillard anywhere since the future Hall of Famer doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract.

In July, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report proposed that the Knicks trade RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier, a 2024 first-round pick from the Detroit Pistons, a 2025 first-round pick and a 2027 first-round pick to the Blazers for Lillard.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks Updates

“And while the fit between Lillard and Jalen Brunson would be far from perfect (that backcourt would probably be too small to lead an average defense), the offensive firepower would be terrifying,” Bailey wrote in his NBA trade column. “The presumed starting five would be able to do plenty of damage from the outside with Brunson, Lillard and Quentin Grimes, while keeping Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson would allow the Knicks to preserve their identity as a team that can dominate the offensive glass.”

The Knicks would have to start and play Lillard and Jalen Brunson together. That would be a small backcourt and defensive-minded head coach Tom Thibodeau would likely lose sleep over how easy teams would score against his backcourt.

However, New York would be an offensive juggernaut with Lillard, Brunson and Julius Randle leading the way. That’s three players who can score 25-plus points on any given night. Throw in Quentin Grimes and Mitchell Robinson next to Lillard, Brunson and Randle and the Knicks would have a dynamic starting unit.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks Updates

Knicks president Leon Rose used to run CAA. Rose surprisingly hasn’t made a blockbuster trade since joining New York. Maybe he will use his connections to trade for Lillard and shock the NBA.

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About Ashish Mathur 2098 Articles
Ashish is an NBA writer for NBA Analysis Network. He has been featured on many publications, including, ClutchPoints, Sportscasting and Celtics Wire. You can follow Ashish on Twitter @amathur25.