Damian Lillard is one of the hottest names on the trade market. From reports that he wants to request a trade, to saying that he wants to stay in Portland. This saga has been a bit confusing, but one thing for certain is that Lillard is not entirely pleased with his situation. Will he get traded before the draft, this season, next offseason? No one knows. Many teams have made a bid on the superstar, but which teams offer the most alluring or not so great fits for Dame Dolla.
This is arguably the best fit for Lillard, and one that has a real possibility of happening. The 76ers have Ben Simmons who can headline the trade, and young guys like Matisse Thybulle or Tyrese Maxey to sweeten the pot. Adding Lillard would open the floor for Embiid and Tobias Harris in a way that Simmons was never able to do. The 76ers tried to add as many shooters as possible, but Simmons lack of shooting and confidence was something that the 76ers couldn’t overcome. Lillard brings both confidence and shooting that could make this 76ers team a considerable threat. Having Lillard controlling the three point line, Embiid dominating in the paint, and Harris and the rest of the team taking advantage of open shots and mismatches. This fit is similar to the one predicated when James Harden was thought to be heading the Philly, for the exception that Lillard is less of an iso player. While Damian is still very much an iso player, you can get him in actions and screens that might not have been possible if Harden was on the team.
New Orleans Pelicans
This team has been thrown around when it comes to trading for Lillard, and the pairing of Zion and Dame is very tantalizing. The Pels also have enough ammo to send to Portland, with a young All-Star in Brandon Ingram as well as young guards such as Nickeil Alexander-Walker. This fit would be similar to Philly, except that the Pels don’t have as many supporting pieces as the 76ers. This would allow Lillard to play on of the premier young talents in the league, and as Zion develops this team could become a championship contender. This squad would be tons of fun to watch, with the dynamic scoring of Lillard and unreal athleticism of Zion. In terms of success, the Pelicans would be an instant playoff contender and they could become a free agent destination. They would still have young pieces that could contribute right away, and with a few signings in free agency over the next few seasons this team could become a championship threat.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are the team that has been flying around the most when it comes to Dame trade talks, and yet it seems like one of the worst landing spots. Golden State is going to have Klay Thomspson back next year, and neither Thomspson or Dame will want to sit on the bench so the Warriors will be using a three guard lineup. Defensively, Klay and Draymond should be able to pick up the slack of having Dame and Steph who are not plus defenders. The problems start to arise on the offensive side of the floor. Dame and Steph both need the ball in their hands, creating a big issue about who gets the ball. They both play similar games, shooting deep threes and using their handle to get around the basket. This requires one player to be on the three point line waiting for an open shot. This worked with KD, but he provided much more variety on offense and did not throw a wrench into the lineup. Steve Kerr might find a way to make it work, but the lineup fit as well as the contrasting offenses of Steph and Dame makes Golden State one of the worst landing spots for Lillard.
Top Image: Ripcityproject.com/Stevie Cozens