Damian Lillard Requests Trade: Blazers Outlook, Trade Destinations & Trade Packages

After months of speculation, Blazers legend Damian Lillard finally requested a trade in order to pursue that elusive championship. He spent 11 seasons with Portland, and the 7x All-Star now enters the market as the clear available top option. What does this request mean for Portland’s future? Which destinations are logical for Lillard based on roster talent and trade assets? Check out below for Damian Lillard landing spots, potential trade packages, and Portland’s outlook.

Portland Trail Blazers New Direction

Despite attempting to capture a championship with Lillard for years, it has only resulted in one Western Conference Finals appearance during the 2019 season. Portland simply hasn’t had the roster to truly compete, although they can’t be faulted for not trying. Their stubborn refusal to rebuild now comes to an end, but the future is brighter because of it.

Third overall pick Scoot Henderson projects to be a dynamic scorer and playmaker in the mold of De’Aaron Fox or Donovan Mitchell. Henderson legitimately possesses All-NBA potential, so the Blazers have Lillard’s replacement lined up. Meanwhile, Shaedon Sharpe flashed immense upside as a hyper-athletic combo guard with superb shooting touch. In the ten games he started to close the season, Sharpe averaged 23.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists on a 46/37/77 shooting split. Those two hold the highest probabilities of being franchise cornerstones and have a chance to surpass the Lillard-McCollum duo.

In addition, combo guard Anfernee Simons just averaged 21.1 points and 4.1 assists while shooting a 37.7 3PT% on 9.1 attempts per game. He’s one of the best young three-point shooters in the league, so Portland’s youthful backcourt is absolutely loaded. The same cannot be said of their frontcourt though, which desperately needs an infusion of talent. Nassir Little, Rayan Rupert, and Kris Murray can become solid role players, but none own towering ceilings. Lillard’s trade will net them a haul though, so Portland can target frontcourt options.

Overall, both the Blazers and Lillard are making the correct decision here. They were realistically never going to win a championship, so Portland can rebuild now while Lillard competes on another team. It’s worth noting that the timing was strange for the Blazers. They just agreed to re-sign veteran Jerami Grant to a five year $160M deal and waived 22-year-old Trendon Watford. Portland announced that they still intend to sign Grant though because he can bridge them into the next era and act as a trade piece down the road.

Damian Lillard Trade Destinations & Packages

Lillard is an exceptionally valuable asset, and Portland has teams lined up to acquire him. Therefore, they can start a bidding war and rake in an immense haul for the All-NBA guard; however, they may not merely accept the best offer since the Blazers are “expected to work to accommodate him” per NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Miami Heat: The Heat are the optimal landing spot for Lillard based on his fit. They are a stingy defensive team with two stars in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo that have a track record of postseason success. They also reside in the easier Eastern Conference, so the path to a championship is clearer. Miami’s biggest needs are three-point shooting, shot creation, and backcourt star power – these traits define Lillard. Plus, he embodies Heat Culture, so the fit could not be any better. With a Lillard-Butler-Adebayo big three, Miami would absolutely own sizable championship equity.

As for a trade package, 23-year-old Tyler Herro would headline the deal. He’s fresh off a 20.1 PPG campaign and may find his way into a couple All-Star games by the time he retires. In addition, the Heat could send Nikola Jovic, 18th overall pick Jaime Jaquez Jr, two unprotected first rounders (2028 & 2030), and multiple first round swaps. Duncan Robinson would also be in the trade for salary matching purposes too.

While that’s not the biggest possible haul for Lillard, it’s important to remember that the Blazers are apparently sending Lillard to one of his preferred locations. Per NBA Insider Shams Charania, the Heat are his top location, so Miami is by far the most likely landing spot for Lillard.

Philadelphia 76ers: Lillard would form a devastating pick and roll partnership with MVP Joel Embiid because both complement each other nicely. Lillard has tremendous gravity beyond the arc and stretches the floor to the highest degree while Embiid’s dominance draws defenders inside. The remainder of the roster needs work, but a James Harden trade can return three role players and fill out the depth chart. The Clippers are highly interested, and they could send some combination of Norman Powell, Ivica Zubac, Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nicolas Batum, and Terance Mann.

For a Lillard trade, the 76ers could offer Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, Jaden Springer, an unprotected 2029 first rounder, and numerous first round swaps. It’s a comparable package to Miami’s, although Maxey is the best asset in either option. Once again, Portland doesn’t necessarily need Maxey due to their loaded backcourt; however, in the worst case they can flip him for a different young player.

Overall, Philadelphia could trot out a Lillard-Melton-McDaniels-Tucker-Embiid lineup with Powell, Covington, and Zubac coming off the bench. The 76ers would finally have a superstar to pair with Embiid, an elite backup center for when Embiid rests, and great depth.

New Orleans Pelicans: Miami and Philadelphia are the most logical landing spots based on fit and Lillard’s wishes. What if a team offered something so irresistible that Portland considers breaching their commitment to allowing Lillard to select the location though? Enter former first overall pick Zion Williamson, who the Pelicans have considered trading due to health concerns. If New Orleans undergoes this exchange, then they would jump into the Denver and Phoenix contention tier. A Lillard-McCollum-Jones-Ingram-Valanciunas lineup with Murphy, Alvarado, Hawkins, and Nance Jr off the bench could match up with anyone.

Meanwhile, Portland would be taking a chance on Zion’s scary injury history. He’s an unstoppable force around the basket when healthy with career marks of 25.8 PPG, 7 RPG, and 3.6 APG on an impossible 60.5 FG%. Zion would inject All-NBA talent into Portland’s lacking frontcourt, and his paint gravity pairs perfectly with their abundance of shooting. If New Orleans dangles Zion and first rounders into trade talks, then Portland may have no choice but to accept the deal regardless of Lillard’s opinion.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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