Raptors general manager Bobby Webster spoke with Danielle Michaud of Sportsnet Canada, hinting at just how much Toronto put on the table to try and snag Lillard:
“I’d say probably the biggest offer we’ve ever made for a player, but it’s up to them to accept it and so I think that’s, you know, you kind of never know what tilted a deal towards you or not,” Webster said. “But maybe time will tell, we’ll find out.”
Webster’s comments say a lot considering Toronto moved All-Star DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for superstar Kawhi Leonard prior to their 2019 championship run.
Lillard originally requested a trade to the Miami Heat on July 1. He remained adamant on wanting to play in South Beach, but the Blazers waited nearly three months in order to accept the best deal possible.
Evidently, the hefty package that the Raptors offered was not up to par for Blazers general manager Joe Cronin.
Ultimately, bringing back Deandre Ayton, Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams III for Lillard in a string of deals has strengthened the Blazers depth chart at center, improved their defense equipped them with an efficient all-around point guard and has positioned them to develop their young talent.
Portland will face Toronto in its fourth game of the season on Oct. 30.