Just when it appeared Kyrie Irving sign-and-trade rumors would remain at the forefront through the weekend, Damian Lillard woke up Saturday and chose to change the conversation on NBA Twitter.
The six-time All-Star shared a photo on his Instagram story depicting himself and and Nets superstar Kevin Durant rocking the Blazers’ sleek red and black City Edition uniform. The lifelike photoshop served as an obvious hint to Lillard’s desire to play alongside Durant, who is caught in the middle of Irving’s ever-evolving drama in Brooklyn.
Cue the eye emojis.
Lillard’s straightforward approach even inspired teammate Jusuf Nurkić to get in on the impromptu pitch meeting. The Bosnian center tweeted the same image along with a puzzle piece meant to symbolize KD’s potential role as Portland’s missing link as it looks to assemble a title contender.
While it’s possible Nurkić could be included in any package sent to Brooklyn in exchange for Durant’s talents, the big man would fit in nicely with an offense centered around the multi-time All-Stars. Assuming the Blazers would be able to retain some combination of Nurkić, Josh Hart, Anfernee Simons, the recently-acquired Jerami Grant and rookie Shaedon Sharpe, the potential is there for a formidable roster.
With Irving’s situation now reportedly turning “acrimonious,” Lillard and other stars could start recruiting Durant if he begins contemplating a possible exit. If KD decides to pen a “My Next Chapter” announcing a mega trade to Portland, there would honestly be much worse options, even though Lillard is still working his way back from an abdominal injury that limited him to 29 games last season.
Outside of sharing the floor at five All-Star games over the years, Lillard and Durant helped lead the U.S. men’s national team on its run to winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. The pair were also named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team earlier this year.
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