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Blazers Signing Warriors’ Draymond Green: Damian Lillard’s ‘Dream’ Free Agency Scenario

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is a free agent, and if he were to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers, it could prevent a Damian Lillard trade.

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NBA: Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers face a critical few weeks as they face a fork in the road for their franchise moving forward. Do they re-tool around Damian Lillard or trade him to officially kick off a long-awaited rebuild?

Lillard, 32, is coming off the best season of his career and can still be a major player for the Blazers in their quest for a championship. However, his value may never be higher and it may be advantageous for the Blazers to rip off the band-aid and begin rebuilding. That being said, the Blazers and Lillard would love to stay married if Portland can make moves this offseason.

According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, one of those paths involves re-signing Jerami Grant, who the team traded for last year from the Detroit Pistons and signing fellow 2012 draft classmate Draymond Green, who recently declined a $30 million player option from the Golden State Warriors to become a free agent.

While Golden State is known to be extremely confident about Green re-signing, the price of his return is likely to be a point of contention. Enter the Blazers, who could make Green the unofficial savior in this sensitive Lillard situation while giving him a chance to add to his legacy in a different jersey after 11 seasons with the Warriors. Except for one (massive) problem: As is the case with so many of these scenarios, it would take some serious salary cap wizardry by Cronin to make this happen.

While the Blazers have Grant’s Bird rights and can thus re-sign him despite being over the salary cap, they currently have no room to sign someone of Green’s ilk. Especially considering he’s likely looking for a deal in the mid-$20 million range annually. There are sign-and-trade pathways to be explored, and likely with a third team needing to be involved, but it’s an implausible prospect to say the least. And again, all signs point to Green wanting to stay put.

Should the Blazers need to clear salary space to sign Green, the player most likeliest to be dealt is Anfernee Simons, who signed a four-year, $100 million contract last offseason. Simons is also contributing to a backcourt logjam after the team drafted point guard Scoot Henderson last week with the No. 3 pick.

Assuming Simons is dealt and the Blazers are able to re-sign Grant, here’s what a potential starting lineup could look like:


Then, you bring Shaedon Sharpe off the bench as the team’s sixth man with rookie Kris Murray, Trendon Watford and another free agent signee or two off the bench.

It’s questionable as to whether this group would be one that could contend for a championship, but if the Blazers’ primary goal is to keep Dame, this could be a viable route.