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Because the watch for a Damian Lillard commerce continues, it appears more and more clear that the Portland Path Blazers might not get the kind of return for arguably the perfect participant in franchise historical past that followers would count on.
Per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, the kind of deal that the Utah Jazz acquired by sending Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves final offseason “merely does not exist” for the Blazers with Lillard.
It is not an enormous shock that Portland might should “settle” on a commerce if a deal finally comes collectively.
The Gobert commerce was extensively panned for the Timberwolves as quickly because it occurred. Minnesota sent 4 first-round draft picks, a 2026 choose swap and 5 gamers, together with 2022 first-round choose Walker Kessler, to Utah for the three-time All-Star.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton gave the T-Wolves a D grade for the commerce primarily due to the issues about what the roster round Gobert, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Cities would appear to be and the way costly the core group will change into quickly.
Although most analysts would argue Lillard is a significantly better participant than Gobert at this level of their careers and he is able to taking up video games in a means Gobert is not, there are many explanation why that sort of supply seemingly will not be made to the Blazers.
For starters, Lillard’s camp has been making it clear he solely needs to play for the Miami Warmth. The Lillard-Warmth dialogue acquired a lot consideration the NBA needed to issue a memo to all 30 groups warning that Lillard might be topic to self-discipline if his camp stored saying he solely needs to affix the Warmth.
If there is just one severe suitor in a commerce negotiation, there isn’t any motivation for that workforce to go all-in with a proposal just like the Timberwolves did for Gobert.
One more reason the commerce return is probably not vital is Lillard’s age and wage. It is not unfair to marvel how for much longer he will be a fantastic participant. He turned 33 years previous on July 15 and has solely performed 87 video games over the previous two seasons mixed.
Even factoring within the Blazers shut Lillard down late within the 2022-23 season after they had been jockeying for lottery place, he is nonetheless at an age when accidents usually tend to preserve taking place.
Lillard is owed $152.98 million over the following three seasons plus a $63.2 million participant choice for 2026-27. He is greater than able to being value that funding after averaging a career-high 32.2 factors per sport in 58 begins final season.
However this does not imply that groups will likely be seeking to mortgage their whole future in a smaller level guard coming into his age-33 season with 830 video games between the common season and playoffs below his belt.