There were trade rumors circulating around the NBA recently about where Damian Lillard would prefer to go if he requests a trade. The Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks were among those who entered the conversation. Lillard has denied his intention of requesting a trade but that might not be the case this offseason, but it remains something to monitor.
The Portland Trail Blazers were eliminated in the first round of the postseason once again this year. This marks the fourth time in five years that the Blazers were unable to advance and Lillard could begin getting impatient with the current situation.
If this is the case, Lillard could request a trade and look for a new team at this point in his career. Portland would be able to get a huge return for one of the best players in the league.
The New York Knicks should be way in on a player like a Lillard. They had a surprise year and finished fourth in the Eastern Conference with 41 victories. New York was eliminated in five games by the Atlanta Hawks but showed that the future could be bright with Tom Thibodeau on the sideline.
Julius Randle and RJ Barrett have created a strong core and now the Knicks need that star name to take them to the next level. If it is a point guard, that checks two boxes that New York has needed for years.
The front office in New York has missed out on plenty of big names in the past but need to continue to be aggressive. Let’s look at a potential NBA trade scenario centered around Damian Lillard that would land him with the New York Knicks.
New York Knicks Receive: G Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: G Immanuel Quickley, F Obi Toppin, C Mitchell Robinson, No. 19 pick, No. 21 pick, 2022 first-round pick swap, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick (via DAL), 2024 first-round pick swap, 2025 first-round pick
Navigating these types of situations is never easy for any franchise and the Portland Trail Blazers are just the latest to have to deal with it. There does not appear to be a pathway for the team to make significant changes in order to surround Lillard with the right pieces to contend. So is him potentially asking out inevitable?
For the first time in a long time, the New York Knicks have assets that they will be able to send away in a deal. Damian Lillard would be the main return and take over as the next superstar in New York.