1. Damian Lillard
Lillard has requested a trade, but the Miami Heat are the only destination on his list right now. Portland has been unwilling to accept Miami’s offers, which puts the pressure on Dame. The 6’2 guard is under contract until 2026. If no deal is done, the options are holdout, return to the team, or find an acceptable trade elsewhere.
This could play out like the Kevin Durant trade request from the summer of 2022. The Nets could not find the right package, so KD reported to training camp before being sent to Phoenix at the deadline. Brooklyn got the monster return they wanted, and Durant found a new home.
What if the Blazers are unwilling to accept even the Heats’ best offer? At some point, the sweepstakes will get opened to other teams, and Boston could be waiting.
Damian Lillard is a superstar. He would instantly solve the Celtics’ ball-handling and shot-creation questions and would give them a Big 3. They have the assets to offer a significant package without involving their two best players.
The Boston Celtics would be over the second tax apron, but that is the price of having three stars in the NBA. Does Boston make a massive splash if Kristaps Porzingis does not fit in by the trade deadline? Stay tuned to find out.