Report: Sixers one of “the most aggressive suitors” for Damian Lillard

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Liberty Ballers 20 July, 2021 - 10:21am 5 views

It’s no surprise to receive another update that the Sixers are interested in Lillard (who wouldn’t be), but it is noteworthy to hear from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor that Philly has recently been one of “the most aggressive suitors” along with a handful of other teams:

Few team executives expect a Dame deal to happen this offseason. But multiple front-office sources say the Heat, Kings, Knicks, Rockets, and Sixers have recently been the most aggressive suitors.

Front-office executives say that if the Blazers eventually move Lillard, they can expect a return rivaling or surpassing what the Nets gave up for James Harden: multiple young players, plus three first-round picks and four first-round pick swaps.

The big advantage the Blazers have with Lillard’s value is that he still has four years left on his contract, compared to just two guaranteed years for James Harden when he was dealt to Brooklyn. As you’d expect, it’s going to take a lot to acquire Dame. But if the Sixers are building a package around Ben Simmons plus some combination of first-rounders and valuable young players like Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle, they should have a real shot. The Sixers would also be left in a position to contend with one of the top duos in the league in Lillard and Joel Embiid, adding more reason for Lillard to be interested in joining Philly.

Lillard obviously doesn’t seem to be too happy in Portland even though he hasn’t made a request to be traded — at least not yet. Whether such a request comes this offseason or a little further down the line remains to be seen, but it’s hard to see the Blazers making any notable moves to reassure Lillard about the quality of the roster. They have minimal cap flexibility (they’re over the cap with only the $9.5 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception to offer in free agency), they don’t even have their first-round pick this year, and they have limited trade assets besides someone like C.J. McCollum.

A McCollum-Simmons trade could be a possibility, but it’s more likely one the Blazers would be interested in. McCollum just doesn’t give the Sixers quite enough playmaking or ability to attack the rim, which is what they ideally need if they’re trading Simmons. Unsurprisingly, as O’Connor noted in his piece, the Sixers are hoping to get in the running for Lillard rather than settling for McCollum.

Ultimately, it doesn’t sound like a Dame trade will be happening just yet. As O’Connor pointed out, few executives around the league are expecting a deal to happen this offseason. Plus, for whatever it’s worth, Lillard said to media at Team USA practice last week that he expects to return to Portland next season (although he clearly put pressure on the front office to make improvements and didn’t make any strong commitments).

But if (when) a trade does come, you can expect the Sixers to be heavily involved. Lillard is the dream target for them right now as a top-tier offensive talent and elite pull-up shooter with nearly unmatched range. He’d give them just what they need to help lead the offense alongside Embiid. The Sixers should do whatever they can to make a trade happen.

Read full article at Liberty Ballers

Heat, Kings, Knicks, 76ers 'Most Aggressive' In Pursuing Damian Lillard Trade

RealGM.com 20 July, 2021 - 01:00pm

by Rafael Uehara

by John Wilmes

by Jack Tien-Dana

by Rafael Uehara

Tools and Resources Used by Real General Managers.

The Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers have recently been the "most aggressive suitors" for a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers for Damian Lillard.

Lillard has said he expects to remain with the Blazers next season, but he has become clear in his desire for more urgency in their efforts to contend for a title.

Should Portland eventually decide to trade Lillard, executives in the NBA expect the Blazers to receive a return for Lillard comparable to what the Brooklyn Nets sent the Rockets for Harden. Lillard is signed for four more seasons at $176 million total.

Tags: Damian Lillard, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Report: Rockets among most aggressive trade suitors for Damian Lillard

Yahoo Sports 20 July, 2021 - 09:36am

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Now 31 years old, rumors have swirled in recent weeks that Lillard intends to request a trade. In a press conference with USA Basketball last Friday, the 6-foot-2 guard denied that he had made a request as of that time, but he was noncommittal beyond that. “I haven’t made any firm decision on what my future will be,” the six-time All-Star said.

In a story posted early Tuesday, O’Connor followed up with some intel on Lillard’s potential trade market. He writes:

Few team executives expect a Dame deal to happen this offseason. But multiple front-office sources say the Heat, Kings, Knicks, Rockets, and Sixers have recently been the most aggressive suitors.

It’s worth remembering that despite Harden also being 31, Houston did not want to trade him. The Rockets preferred to continue building around Harden, since they know how difficult it is to acquire a player among the league’s elite. That could explain their interest in Lillard, who is signed through 2023-24 and has a player option for 2024-25.

Then again, the Harden saga was a clear reminder that contracts in the modern NBA aren’t particularly significant. Even though Harden was signed for at least two more seasons at the time, his clear discontent and the ramifications of keeping a star player against his will forced the Rockets into a trade. For the Rockets to give up the type of draft assets that Portland is likely to require, they would presumably need to have confidence that Lillard truly wants to be in Houston and is unlikely to change his mind after a few months. In other words, a deal isn’t worth it to the Rockets if Lillard is likely to then do what Harden did.

So, the question becomes: Can Houston offer Lillard a better path to a championship than the current supporting cast in Portland? The answer depends on Lillard’s preferences, as well as the potential terms of a trade. For example, if the Rockets could keep the likes of Christian Wood, Jae’Sean Tate, Kelly Olynyk, Kevin Porter Jr., Eric Gordon, and the No. 2 overall pick (Jalen Green?) in the 2021 draft, an argument can be made for that group having more upside than the current supporting cast in Portland led by CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Covington. (With Lillard making nearly $44 million next season, John Wall would likely have to leave Houston in any hypothetical trade for salary matching purposes.)

There’s also a hypothetical world in which the No. 2 choice could be dealt as the centerpiece of a separate trade, which would potentially put a second veteran star around Lillard with the Rockets.

But, even if that group is superior to the one in Portland, is it enough to satisfy Lillard’s desire to make a title run? It’s also unclear if the Rockets could meet Portland’s asking price in a trade without involving one of those aforementioned assets. For example, if the Trail Blazers were to demand this year’s No. 2 pick as part of a Houston proposal, that could limit the appeal of the Rockets to Lillard — since it diminishes the potential supporting cast around him. It’s a delicate balancing act.

In short, all the dominoes would have to line up perfectly for a Lillard trade to Houston to make sense. It’s not likely to happen. But given his dominance as a player, there’s a case for Stone to at least explore it.

The Kings reportedly are one of the teams aggressively pursuing a trade for Damian Lillard.

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Golden State Warriors emerge as a top suitor for Damian Lillard

Blue Man Hoop 20 July, 2021 - 04:00am

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 06: Damian Lillard #6 of the 2021 USA Basketball Men's National Team practices at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV as the team gets ready for the Tokyo Olympics on July 6, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

As unlikely as it seems, the Golden State Warriors have emerged as a top-three team to acquire Damian Lillard this summer. While they certainly have an elite trade package ready to offer — it is unclear how realistic this pipe dream actually is.

Nevertheless, BetOnline has the Warriors as the third most likely team to win the Dame sweepstakes. The New York Knicks are the clear favorites, with Philadelphia ranking as the only team with a better chance than Golden State. Other notable locations include the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers and Miami Heat.

Where will Damian Lillard be playing next season? pic.twitter.com/FohlXQpRgy

— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) July 18, 2021

These betting lines come just a few days after a whirlwind of rumors hit the internet. Multiple reports stated Lillard had formally requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers — but then Lillard himself denied the claims. Though everything points towards Lillard being ready to leave the franchise in favor of competing for a title, it’s still uncertain exactly what is going on in Portland.

If you are wondering what it would take to get Dame to the Bay — it’s basically everything the Dubs have to offer. Expect nothing short of James Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and every single NBA Draft pick the Dubs can include for the next three to five years.

Yes, this is quite a lot to give up. The Warriors would be putting themselves in an incredibly tight position for the foreseeable future if they elect to trade for Lillard. But, it might be worth it, considering Lillard is one of the most gifted players in the NBA who can elevate the Warriors to new heights offensively.

However, I’d still place myself firmly on the side of not causing mass destruction of this roster to add another All-Star guard. It just seems a bit redundant. Now, if Kawhi Leonard became available — it would be a different story. But, with his ACL injury and shakey loyalty to each franchise he has been on, the Warriors will probably steer clear of that potential trade, as well.

As for BetOnline, how accurate have they been with their predictions? Well, they accurately placed Brooklyn as the favorites to land James Harden earlier in the season and had the Los Angeles Lakers as runner-ups (behind Houston) to sign LeBron James in 2018. However, they whiffed hard on Kevin Durant’s decision to join Brooklyn.

So, if it wasn’t already clear, we really don’t know where Lillard will end up next season. It’s a complete gamble. For the Warriors’ sake, let’s hope they choose not to put any of their chips into this.

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