Nets Trade For Blazers’ Damian Lillard In Blockbuster Proposal

Damian Lillard, Brooklyn Nets, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Portland Trail Blazers are allegedly talking to a “mystery Eastern Conference team” about Damian Lillard. The whole NBA world is intrigued. Who could that mystery team possibly be? 

The Boston Celtics? That would make sense. How about the Toronto Raptors? That would be a bold decision, but we wouldn’t rule it out. The New York Knicks? Who knows? It feels like the Knicks are always in the running when a star becomes available. How about the Brooklyn Nets? 

That would make sense as well. The Nets have an impressive collection of draft capital, but they don’t have their own. The Houston Rockets control their draft through to 2027. With that in mind, the Nets have no incentive to tank. Trading for a superstar point guard could help this team take a major step forward. Here’s a deal that has Lillard landing in Brooklyn. 

The Trade Proposal 

Portland Trail Blazers Receive: F/C Ben Simmons, F Royce O’Neale, 2025 First-Round Pick (PHX), 2027 First-Round Pick (PHX), 2029 First-Round Pick (DAL) 
Brooklyn Nets Receive: G Damian Lillard 

By contrast, there’s no mystery about where Lillard wants to land. He’s focused on joining the Miami Heat. Other teams may be interested in him, but by all appearances, he’s only got eyes for one team in the league. 

This is a problem. It’s obviously a problem for the Blazers, but arguably, it’s a problem for the NBA. Lillard is far from the first star to request a trade – that happens. However, it’s hard to recall a star player with a list of one team he’s willing to join. It could be a dangerous precedent. In insisting on joining the Heat, Lillard has squashed any market that could exist for his services. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Brooklyn Nets Updates

Think about it. Any team besides Miami acquiring Lillard is taking a risk. If he doesn’t like the look of their roster, he could decline to report for training camp. Should the Nets take that risk? 

Why The Brooklyn Nets Do The Deal 

Well, the Nets would want to do some homework. If Lillard can envision himself on their roster, they ought to be interested in him. Otherwise, they should pass. So, here’s the question: should Lillard be interested in joining the Nets? 

We don’t see why not. Frankly, this Nets team ought to be more competitive than any Blazers team that Lillard has been a part of. The Nets are stacked with quality 3-and-D wings. They’ve got an elite defensive anchor in Nicolas Claxton. Meanwhile, they’ve got a ready-made second option in Mikal Bridges. This team would be dangerous. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Brooklyn Nets Updates

Especially considering that they’re not losing much here – at least, in terms of win-now pieces. O’Neale is a solid rotation player, but with so many 3-and-D wings on this roster, he’s expendable. Meanwhile, Simmons wasn’t guaranteed a spot in this team’s rotation next year anyway. Should the Blazers take him on? 

Why The Portland Trail Blazers Do The Deal 

The Blazers won’t have much interest in O’Neale either. This team will be rebuilding – they shouldn’t be giving minutes to solid veterans. In all likelihood, they’d be showcasing O’Neale in a bid to move him leading up to the deadline. 

On the other hand, Simmons is a more intriguing proposition. He’s still young. If Simmons could get his career back on track, the Blazers could win this deal by a landslide. He could be part of a young core featuring Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe, and Anfernee Simons. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Brooklyn Nets Updates

With that said, suppose Simmons never rounds back into form. That’s fine. The Blazers are still landing three unprotected first-round picks here. That’s an acceptable return for an aging superstar like Lillard. If the Nets are the mystery Eastern Conference team, this is a situation worth keeping an eye on. 

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