Damian Lillard Didn’t Want To Get Traded To Raptors

Damian Lillard, Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA trade rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Toronto Raptors were very interested in acquiring Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers. However, Lillard’s disinterest in playing in Toronto remained an obstacle and prevented the Raptors from acquiring the NBA star, according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

“Throughout this Lillard saga, there was the looming question of whether a team would take on his massive contract if he didn’t want to be there,” Charania and Amick wrote in their latest NBA trade column. “Lillard has three years remaining on his deal plus a player option for 2026-27 for a projected $63.2 million. For example, the Raptors’ interest was serious, but Lillard’s disinterest in playing in Toronto remained an obstacle until the end.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

Once Lillard was convinced that joining the Miami Heat was virtually impossible, he became open to the prospect of playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets. The Blazers wound up trading Lillard to the Bucks in a three-team deal that sent Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, a 2029 first-round Bucks pick and two Bucks pick swaps in 2028 and 2030 to Portland. Meanwhile, Jusuf Nurkic, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson and Grayson Allen were traded to the Phoenix Suns.

The Raptors never offered the Blazers Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby or Scottie Barnes for Lillard, sources told NBA Analysis Network. Toronto always knew it was a long shot to acquire Lillard since the superstar point guard made it known behind the scenes he didn’t want to play for the Raptors.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

Lillard signed a two-year, $121.7 million extension with the Blazers in July 2022. He’ll make $45.6 million next season. He now gets to play with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. The Bucks are one of the favorites to win the 2024 NBA title.

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