Will the Path Blazers legend keep in Portland?
Damian Lillard needs to win an NBA championship in Portland.
The Path Blazers would like to take a title with the very best participant in franchise historical past steering the ship.
However after lacking the playoffs in every of the previous two seasons, and making it to only one Western Convention Finals in the course of the Dame Time period, the NBA world is questioning: Might we lastly see the top of the lengthy Lillard-Path Blazers marriage?
Lillard, who was drafted by Portland because the No. 6 general choose in 2012, has been vocal about his need for an NBA title however has by no means gone so far as asking for a commerce.
Lillard turns 33 in July, however after making All-NBA Third Workforce this season, he confirmed he nonetheless may be one of many very gamers within the sport.
However would Path Blazers brass actually commerce Portland’s favourite son so he can pursue that coveted NBA championship? Or is Lillard going to request a commerce?
Oddsmakers aren’t so sure.
The Path Blazers are a -500 favourite to maintain Lillard by means of the beginning of the 2023-24 NBA season.
|Damian Lillard subsequent workforce odds|
|Portland Path Blazers -500|
|Philadelphia 76ers +1000|
|Brooklyn Nets +1600|
|Boston Celtics +2000|
|Los Angeles Lakers +2000|
|Toronto Raptors +2500|
|Los Angeles Clippers +2500|
|New Orleans Pelicans +2800|
|Miami Warmth +3000|
Nonetheless, just a few groups are lingering, largely ones who, like Lillard, are attempting to recover from the hump and take house the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Philadelphia 76ers +1000
The Joel Embiid-led 76ers got here up brief as soon as once more, falling to the Boston Celtics in seven video games in the course of the Jap Convention Semifinals.
Now, rumors are swirling a few James Harden return to Houston after probably opting out of his contract for subsequent season.
Philadelphia might want to make large strikes in the event that they need to preserve this yr’s MVP glad and compete for a championship subsequent yr and past.
Embiid is already being linked to the Knicks, in spite of everything.
Lillard can be maybe the very best offensive participant Embiid has ever performed with, however he would include a giant price ticket.
Any deal probably must embrace promising younger guard Tyrese Maxey and stable secondary scorer Tobias Harris to match Lillard’s huge $45 million wage subsequent season.
That will sap the Sixers’ depth, however the Embiid-Lillard pairing can be about nearly as good as any within the NBA.
Brooklyn Nets +1600
Lillard kicked off hypothesis a few transfer to Brooklyn when he confirmed as much as Recreation 3 on the Barclays Heart in the course of the Nets’ first-round sequence towards the 76ers.
Mikal Bridges and Lillard are associates, and a video confirmed them leaving the constructing collectively after that sport.
And after the Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden trades, the Nets all of the sudden have the items to go large sport searching with 11 first-rounders between now and 2029, which is the fourth-most draft capital within the league.
Portland would virtually assuredly ask for Bridges again in any Lillard commerce, however buying an early-30s star like Dame would solely make sense if the breakout small ahead stays to pair with him.
If Brooklyn can herald Lillard whereas hanging onto Bridges, Nic Claxton and Cam Johnson, it might be in contrast to any workforce the purpose guard has ever performed on.
Betting on the NBA?
That trio of good-to-great defenders might shore up that aspect of the ball whereas Lillard carries the offense.
However is Portland prepared to lose the very best participant in franchise historical past for largely draft capital?
Boston Celtics +2000
If Boston isn’t capable of come again and beat the Miami Warmth, anticipate this one to garner extra smoke.
It’s been a disappointing playoff run for the Celtics, who had been taken to 6 video games by the No. 7 seed Hawks and 7 video games by the Sixers earlier than falling right into a 3-0 gap vs. the Warmth, leaving individuals to wonder if they want a shake-up.
They usually might have simply the blue chip piece to do it.
Jaylen Brown, who, like Dame, has been in commerce rumors for years, has one yr left on his contract and is set to get the supermax extension.
If the Celtics don’t need to pay each Brown and Jayson Tatum the supermax, they might pivot to a Lillard commerce, and it probably wouldn’t require many extra property apart from Brown.
Portland would get a youthful star to retool round and Boston would be capable of prolong its title window.
This title run has confirmed that the Celtics want a frontrunner within the locker room and a real level guard on the courtroom.
It will harm to lose a younger star like Brown, however Lillard might put them over the hump.