It was reported early Friday morning by Henry Abbott of True Hoop that Blazers star Damian Lillard will request a trade in the coming days. That leaves many teams in a scramble to find out if they will end up in the running for this major prize.
When players like Lillard become available, it is not about what teams have interest in the player, but instead, the teams that the player lists as a favorable landing spot. Every team is clearly interested in Lillard, but most of them just aren’t realistically in the running.
Another report came from Barry Bondz, which listed the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Golden State Warriors as four teams that he would be interested in. It’s no surprise that a bunch of big markets would be on his radar, after years of dominating in Portland, putting the franchise on the map time and time again.
Landing in New York would most likely mean that somebody else would be on the way, since an incoming sidekick would be needed for him to compete in the East. Golden State and Los Angeles are two teams in his home state, who are also headlined by a star player, in Stephen Curry and LeBron James respectively. And who doesn’t want to play in Miami, especially if Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would be staying put in that type of deal.
The options would clearly expand once this type of thing becomes official, but the possibilities are endless if he decides he wants to move on. No matter where he lands, the general consensus will be that the team just became a contender, since that’s the level of his elite status in this league.