Would the Portland Trail Blazers trade Damian Lillard to the Pelicans?
Trading Lillard is not easy for Portland on any level. The seven-time All-Star has been incredibly loyal throughout his first 11 years in the NBA, and he is a legend. Lillard made the NBA 75, and he will always be synonymous with the Blazers.
Beyond that, Dame wants to play for a contender and has named the Heat as his top landing spot. Portland cannot just blindly honor that request. Yes, they want to take care of Lillard, but the Heat only have two first-round draft picks and Tyler Herro to offer. That is not enough for the seven-time All-Star, and the Trail Blazers have to maximize their return for the health of their franchise.
The Pelicans can offer one of the best packages for Lillard. Brandon Ingram was an All-Star in 2020, and the 25-year-old is squarely in his prime. Jonas Valanciunas is a quality starting center that Portland could trade at the deadline if they are out of contention, and the Blazers get multiple draft picks. That is the type of mammoth offer that general manager Joe Cronin and Portland should accept for the perennial All-Star.
Would New Orleans be willing to pay that price to acquire Damian Lillard?