Damian Lillard has been listed among a half-dozen NBA stars most likely to hit the trade block this summer. The Portland Trail Blazers superstar made the Bleacher Report ledger, authored by Zach Buckley.
After mentioning Lillard’s frequent declarations of commitment to the franchise, Buckley said:
He doesn’t have nearly enough help to win anything of substance, and his supporting cast could take a big blow if Jerami Grant bolts as an unrestricted free agent. Portland also lacks the assets to get Lillard more support. That pick protection makes it tricky to add draft choices to a deal, and the combination of Anfernee Simons (the club’s second-leading scorer) and Shaedon Sharpe probably isn’t trumping the best offers for a top-tier star.
The Blazers appear stuck in the Association’s lower-middle class, and they almost certainly need a Lillard trade to unstick themselves. If they can’t see that, then hopefully he can.
Lillard’s inclusion is hardly a surprise. After Portland’s poor performance this season, Lillard’s name will be hot. But Lillard was not alone on that list. Karl-Anthony Towns, Pascal Siakam, DeMar DeRozan, and Bradley Beal made it too. It’ll be interesting to see if the Blazers can turn the tables, dealing away some of their non-Lillard assets to add a player of that caliber who then would change the story for the team. Availability works both ways. Portland will be looking to use it to their advantage this summer.