Damian Lillard trade talks have been on hiatus as the NBA walked through its traditional summer break in August, but they’re sure to pick up again as Media Day and training camps approach for teams throughout the league. The Miami Heat remain Lillard’s favored destination, but Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report resurrected the idea of Lillard joining the Toronto Raptors in a feature on “realistic” NBA trades today.
The interesting thing about Buckley’s idea is that Scottie Barnes holds center stage as Portland’s recompense. There’s very little draft capital involved and the ancillary players are mostly throw-ins.
Toronto Raptors receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers receive: Scottie Barnes, Gradey Dick, Dennis Schröder, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young and 2028 first-round pick
And here’s part of the explanation:
The Blazers, meanwhile, would significantly brighten their future with Barnes, a jumbo playmaker, all-purpose defender and athletic finisher who would be an effortless fit alongside Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe. Dick might hold building-block status in Portland, too, since his fiery outside shot would open things up for the young Blazers to attack.
Schröder, Boucher and Young would be around mostly to make the money work, although Schröder’s presence might help Portland ease Henderson into the mix if the franchise is at all cautious of throwing too much at him too quickly.
Buckley talks more about the Toronto side too, but for our purposes, let’s ask this question. Would Scottie Barnes be enough for you in exchange for Lillard, give or take a first-rounder? Do you value Barnes highly enough to credit him as the centerpiece in a Dame deal without much sweetener? Debate the pros and cons in the comment section!