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Bill Simmons Suggests A Damian Lillard-Kyrie Irving Trade

Bill Simmons of The Ringer suggests a blockbuster trade between Portland and Cleveland. But does it line up well for the Blazers?

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Portland Trail Blazers Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving trade speculation may have reached its highest point for the Rose City.

Since the star point guard demanded his exit from the defending Eastern Conference champions six days ago, rumors have sent him to New York, San Antonio, Miami, and Minnesota.

Bill Simmons of The Ringer gave a suggestion on Twitter that on first glance warrants consideration.

By his own admission, the trade has not been suggested by any other sources, but the trade does need a question answered: who says no?

Damian Lillard averaged 27.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.9 assists last season, while shooting 37 percent from three-point range. Irving averaged 25.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists, while shooting 40.1 percent from three. However, Irving also took almost two fewer three point attempts per game, in an offense designed around LeBron James.

The prevailing idea would be to get a point guard that is a better defender to pair with CJ McCollum’s sub-standard defense, but, as it turns out, Irving’s defensive metrics are actually worse.

Irving has a worse defensive box plus/minus (2.3 to 2.0), the same defensive win-shares (1.5), worse defensive zone coverage, all with significantly lower Value Over Replacement Player (2.9 for Irving, 4.3 for Lillard).

The principle advantage for Portland in this suggested trade would be that Irving is two years younger, $8 million cheaper, and Channing Frye is an expiring contract, but moving Lillard is perhaps the least likely way Portland intends to save money.

Overall, the Trail Blazers probably turns down this trade.