If having Dame is our best chance to win a championship, I got some bad news for you.
Golden State - Steph, Dray, Klay
Phoenix - Booker, Paul, Ayton
Utah - Mitchell, Gobert, Conley
Memphis - Morant, Jackson Jr., Brooks
Dallas - Luka, Porzingas, Hardaway Jr.
Denver - Jokic, Murray, Gordon
Lakers - Bron, Davis, Westbrook
Minnesota - Kat, Edwards, Russell
Clippers - Kawhi, George, Morris
San Antonio - Murray, White, Poeltl
Portland - Dame, CJ, Nurk
Of the teams that are currently in the playoff bracket, how many do you think Portland can surpass to be in the hunt for a championship over the next several years, with Dame as our best player?
There are 4 teams that have players 30 and over, that are near or above Dame's level. The only player that will drop below his impact level will be Chris Paul (PHX). So, As Dame ages, 3 teams will age out with talent (LAL, LAC, GS) better than Dame.
There are 5 teams that have players 26 and younger, that are near or above Dame's level. Luka and Jokic are already better than Dame, and Mitchell, Morant and Booker are right in the mix. Each one of these players will have near or better the impact level that Dame will provide going forward.
There are a couple teams that have players that could enter the mix in the next couple years. SAS and MIN are those teams, and have some nice young talent, but are not on Dame's level. yet. Note: Kat should be on the previous paragraph's list, but he has not shown an ability to elevate a bad team like the others have. It took Edwards coming to the team to make a difference.
What this quick analysis tells me, is that Portland has basically no chance of being a championship contender in the Dame era. There is too much talent that either already surpasses Lillard's impact level, is equal to it now, or will climb above it as he exits his prime and others enter theirs. For those of you that want to keep Dame for sentimental reasons, I understand. For those of us that carry a championship or bust mentality, the time is nigh to trade Dame.