Damian Lillard is one of the best players this league has ever seen. Unfortunately, he’s playing in the same era as the Warriors and loses to them pretty much every year. Lillard is already 28 years old, and much like many great players of this era (Harden, CP3, PG13, etc.) has no playoff success to show for it. As the great Michael Jordan once said, “Don’t mean a thing without a ring”. The Portland point guard can put up the best stats and score as much as he wants, but it means shit unless he can get a title before it’s said and done. Lillard is too good of a player to be forgotten about once his career is over. What he needs to do to save his legacy and his career is to demand a trade from Portland. Not only demand to leave Portland, but Lillard needs to team up with Lebron James.
Damian Lillard is locked into the being in Portland until the end of the 2020-2021 season. What this signifies, is that he can’t just go to the Lakers in free agency. If he wanted to wait until he is a free agent, it may be too late. Lebron is 34 and while still playing at a very high level, that could change soon. This trade NEEDS to happen this offseason!
Luckily, the Lakers have a shit ton of assets to move in a trade. Starting with that 4th overall draft pick in the upcoming draft. Without that pick, Portland shouldn’t even consider making a move. After that pick, Portland will want either Kuzma or Ingram. Both Kuzma and Ingram are great players with the versatility to play many positions. Beyond that, Lonzo Ball should be sent to Portland to fill that starting point guard role for the time being, or until he pops off in this league. Lonzo has tons of potential that he can best reach in a smaller market where he can ball out without nonstop criticism.
Portland Trail Blazers Outlook
Damian Lillard has been the face of the Trailer Blazers from the instant he got drafted and won the rookie of the year. Losing him would come with plenty of upset fans, but hopefully a few understanding ones as well. With the trade I constructed, Portland will have drafted a player with star potential (Barrett, Hunter, Garland, etc.) That player may or may not have an immediate impact but will be put in a winning organization. Also, Ball being on the squad brings a fantastic defensive point guard who can also make great plays for everyone. Kuzma/Ingram would for sure hop into that 4 position and stretch the floor for everyone. Their starting 5 would most likely be Ball, McCollum, Harkless, Kuzma/Ingram, and Kanter. Sheesh!
If this trade happens, McCollum now owns the state of Oregon. Alongside Lillard, CJ has put up very impressive numbers such as 22ppg in the past 4 seasons since he has been a starter. To begin, simply CJ without Dame Dolla would probably start averaging around 25 points a game. However, with Lonzo facilitating the ball, CJ could average nearly 30 and become a top 3 scorer in this league. Portland will still be a playoff team, and CJ would be a stud!
LA Lakers Outlook
Lakers fans want one thing and one thing only; to win! They don’t grow attachments to players like most teams, and always want that super team. To boot, even Lebron has been booed wearing the purple and gold. This offseason, they will undoubtedly be trying to make millions of moves. That first move will be to try and acquire Anthony Davis. When they don’t get Davis, and trust me they won’t, they will focus their attention to another star. This star should be Lillard. Going along with the trade I put out for them, Lebron and Lillard are enough of a 1-2 punch to make serious noise in the NBA. Beyond them, they still have either Kuzma or Ingram to be a formidable third option. After that, I assume the Lakers would just sign a bunch of small 1-year contracts to put around those guys. Lebron’s whole career has played out like that and for the most part, has resulted in loads of success.
Lebron James is what Damian Lillard needs to save his career!
-Brandon Black (Follow @bhblack02)