Is Damian Lillard Leaving the Blazers? The Countdown to NBA Media Day Gets Intense

Is Damian Lillard Leaving the Blazers? The Countdown to NBA Media Day Gets Intense

High Stakes for Lillard’s Next Move

Talk about an off-season soap opera that refuses to end! Damian Lillard, the living legend of the Portland Trail Blazers, could be trading his jersey for a new one in no time flat. The word on the street—or rather, the court—is that by the time the cameras roll for NBA Media Day next week, Dame could be out of Portland.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN mentioned during an appearance on NBA Today that many league general managers “don’t expect” Lillard to still be with the Blazers.

“Don’t expect the guard to be on the Trail Blazers by Monday’s media day ahead of the 2023-24 campaign,” Spears reported.

Miami Heat vs. The Field

Lillard’s publicized trade request and his supposed fondness for the Miami Heat have set the Twitter-sphere on fire. But hold your horses; it seems like another contender is stepping into the ring.

“Sportsnet’s Michael Grange reported the Toronto Raptors are ‘very much in the mix’ and could offer a trade package centered around 26-year-old O.G. Anunoby and significant draft capital,” citing Portland’s young player and asset focus.

Still, insiders Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald suggest that Dame may not settle for long if he’s not in Miami.

“Lillard could still ask to be traded from his new team to the Heat even if Portland trades him to a destination outside of Miami,” they reported.

Portland’s Dilemma

This situation isn’t exactly a walk in the park for the Blazers. Chris Haynes from Bleacher Report highlighted the Blazers’ conundrum:

“Portland is ‘refusing’ to engage the Heat in any trade discussions.”

Why the reluctance? Probably because trading Lillard might put them in a hot spot if the All-Star decides he’s not vibing with his new squad and wants another move.

Time is of the Essence

With training camps and preseason action just around the corner, snagging Lillard swiftly would be a slam dunk for any team aiming to beef up its roster. At 33, he’s no spring chicken, but the numbers don’t lie. Last season, Lillard averaged a career-high 32.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game, all while shooting a solid 37.1 percent from beyond the arc.

The X-Factor for Any Team

So, where will Dame Time tick next? Whether it’s Miami, Toronto, or some dark horse we haven’t considered, one thing’s for sure: Damian Lillard’s next move could be the game-changer that ripples through the NBA for years to come.

So, keep your eyes glued to the screen, NBA fans; this trade could be one for the history books!