4. Damian Lillard
There are only a handful of players and franchises in the NBA that can relate to a bond as strong as the one Lillard has with the Portland Trail Blazers. With that in mind, it’s still time to move on.
The superstar point guard asked for a trade on July 1, after seeing Portland use their No. 3 pick to draft another lead guard in Scoot Henderson and spending $160M to bring back forward Jerami Grant. Lillard wanted to be in a better position to win a championship now if he was to stay with the Blazers. Instead, it’s clear the Blazers are in the midst of a youth movement.
During a recent interview to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, Lillard has confirmed his trade request, while refusing to speak on the Trail Blazers, but stating “there’s a lot of love and respect” for the organization and city. He also reassured how badly he wants to win the NBA, now entering the final years of his prime.
That happened less than a month after the NBA sent a memo to the 30 teams, acknowledging Lillard and his agent Aaron Goodwin asking for teams not to trade for the player, since allegedly he wouldn’t fully perform for any team other than the Miami Heat. However, his market doesn’t seem to have grown after that and the Heat are still the most motivated to get a trade done. Whether it is Miami or elsewhere, it looks like Dame Time is over in Portland.
Potential destinations: Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers