Raptors Trade For Blazers’ Damian Lillard In Proposal Based On Latest Talks

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

In the NBA, life comes at you quickly. A situation can change at the drop of a dime. Everybody may be anticipating a certain outcome. Before you know it, an entirely different outcome looks significantly more likely.

Take the situation with Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. For much of the offseason, we’ve assumed that Lillard would land on the Miami Heat. It’s his preferred landing spot, and the Heat could use the star point guard. This was the anticipated outcome. Lately, the situation has changed – and quickly.

Now, the Toronto Raptors are seen as the frontrunner to land Lillard. That makes sense. It’s fair to say that the Raptors have a significantly better package to offer the Blazers than the Heat do. Here’s how we think a deal would look based on the recent rumors.

The Trade Proposal

Portland Trail Blazers Receive: F OG Anunoby, F/C Chris Boucher, F/C Thaddeus Young, F Gradey Dick, F/C Precious Achiuwa, G Malachi Flynn, 2026 First-Round Pick (TOR), 2028 First-Round Pick (TOR)
Toronto Raptors Receive: G Damian Lillard

This would be a bold decision. The Raptors missed the playoffs last season. Many would argue that they aren’t in any position to make a win-now trade for a superstar. With that said, this wouldn’t be the first time that the Raptors made a bold decision.

Remember their Kawhi Leonard acquisition? Leonard was a disgruntled member of the San Antonio Spurs. He’d requested a trade. The Raptors were not widely regarded as a likely landing spot. They acquired Leonard anyway. Now, they’ve got the only championship in their franchise’s history to show for it.

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Toronto Raptors Updates

Granted, the situation now is not identical. Those Raptors were fringe contenders. They made one big move to push themselves over the top. By contrast, these present Raptors are a little further away. Could they trade for Lillard anyway?

Why The Toronto Raptors Do The Deal

There’s plenty of debate about what package the Raptors should send out for Lillard – if any. Some fans would suggest that they shouldn’t be spending assets on a star. Others would say that if they’re acquiring Lillard, they should send out Scottie Barnes before they send out Anunoby. After all, they’ll be making a win-now push, and Anunoby is a more polished supporting player than Barnes. 

Fair. On the other hand, suppose Barnes makes a third-year leap. If he can just increase his three-point percentage, he offers more playmaking than Anunoby. Holding onto Barnes gives the team a lower win-now floor, but a higher win-now ceiling. Moreover, it allows the Raptors to hang onto a player that they’re hoping will be their future cornerstone.

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Toronto Raptors Updates

So, this is the package. It’s a bold decision for a team that just clued up a .500 season. Still, if it works out, it could result in serious title contention for the Raptors. What does this deal do for the Blazers?

Why The Portland Trail Blazers Do The Deal

This won’t satisfy every Blazers fan, either. Sure, they could likely land some more draft capital elsewhere. Moreover, the Blazers just extended Jerami Grant. Are they going to extend Anunoby next summer and sink so much cap space into a pair of forwards when they’re this far from contention?

No. They’ll trade Grant. Anunoby is significantly younger, so he’s a better fit with this young roster. More broadly, the Blazers may not want to miss the playoffs for long. This small market team typically resists tanking. By acquiring an elite 3-an-D wing like Anunoby, they could accelerate the growth of their young core.

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Toronto Raptors Updates

Besides – this deal still enhances their future. Dick is an exciting young prospect, and Achiuwa has shown potential as a switch big. Add in a pair of first-round picks, and who knows? This deal could be enough to inspire the Blazers to do something unexpected.

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