Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard won’t come cheap, should he be traded. Which player should Portland focus on in a deal in exchange for Dame?
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Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard has flirted with the idea of being traded with the Rip City fanbase, prompting supporters to start a petition for him to be dealt with.
His loyalty has been unwavering, but nothing is forever. Should Blazers management actively buy Lillard this summer, for which player would be the best showpiece to move him?
Ben Simmons, Tyler Herro, Pascal Siakam and James Harden are all in interesting situations with their respective franchises.
Regarding Simmons, his two former superstar teammates – Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – abandoned ship, not believing they could win with him.
To add insult to injury, Simmons has fallen out of favor in the rotation, falling from the starting lineup in November 2022, and again in the last four games he has played.
Not too long ago, Simmons was an NBA All-Star regular, an All-Defensive winner, and a “young king” aggrandized by Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James himself.
Despite coming off of a career-worst season, Simmons, 26, can elevate a team beyond their game, rebounds and defense, though their foul will need to improve.
Herro was the 2022 Sixth Man of the Year but wanted a bigger role in the Miami Heat. He joined the Heat’s starting lineup this season and whether he’s a direct culprit or a scapegoat, Miami has finished considerably worse in the Eastern Conference standings.
It didn’t matter, because the Heat have been rolling the competition through these playoffs and are one game away from reaching their second NBA Finals in four years.
Nonetheless, moving Lillard for Herro would give Dame a proven championship culture and teammates capable of shooting and defending at a level he has never experienced in his career.
Herro would be instantly given the keys to the Blazers franchise on the offensive end and, given his talent, likely set up All-Star numbers while helping the team win in the interim.
Siakam knows what it’s like to win everything in Toronto, but lately Toronto has gone backwards. A change of scenery can benefit both players.
Finally, Harden didn’t shy away from entertaining greener pastures. Defending MVP Joel Embiid was cryptic in his answer to what it would take for the Philadelphia 76ers to take the next step.
Harden may be the least appealing centerpiece of the pack due to his age, defense and expected price tag, but few players in the league can execute offense and command play like he can, despite the shortcomings he may have, and should Dame and the Blazers agree to a split, should at least be looked into.
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