Damian Lillard trade packages in 2023 aren’t as impressive as they would’ve been in other years. That’s because of the never-ending drama surrounding him and the Portland Trail Blazers, not to mention his astronomically high salary.
Damian Lillard trade packages 2023
Talking about potential Lillard trades has become a usual thing in every offseason. It seems like the NBA summer isn’t officially started until the Lillard trade news and never-ending rumors start flooding social media and sports outlets.
This year won’t be the exception to that rule. He managed to stay put after the Draft, but Lillard is still one of the prime NBA offseason trade candidates as we approach free agency. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best trade packages the Blazers could get for him.
The New York Knicks have been in the market for a superstar player for quite a while. They’ve swung for the fences and struck out every single year, and it doesn’t seem like they’re able to attract free superstar free agents regardless of the fact that they have the money and have one of the most passionate fan bases in the history of the game.
Now, they have Jalen Brunson as the closest thing to a star, and it all points out to him becoming the guy they need. But if the Knicks want to take a leap forward right now — not in the future — they should look to pair him with Lillard, one of the greatest and most impactful scorers in the game.
Pairing Lillard with Brunson would give the Knicks an explosive backcourt, not to mention another strong presence in the locker room to develop winning culture. Knicks fans have been through a lot already, and they deserve this.
Also, the Knicks have arguably one of the strongest potential Damian Lillard trade packages in 2023 right now. They could get the seven-time All-Star in return for two unprotected first-round picks, one pick swap (the more favorable going to the Blazers), RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, and Immanuel Quickley.
The Blazers could look to flip Fournier or buy him out, while having two young pieces to add to their core of Shaedon Sharpe and Scoot Henderson, as Immanuel Quickley is eligible for a contract extension, and RJ Barrett might still turn out to be good.
The Brooklyn Nets had several superstars and couldn’t make the most of them. Dating back to their infamous trade with the Boston Celtics, they have a long history of going all-in to get stars that fail to live up to their expectations.
Now, they have literally zero incentive to tank, as the Houston Rockets pretty much control their upcoming drafts. They have a budding star in Mikal Bridges, and Lillard has openly admitted that he would love to have the opportunity to team up with him in the future.
The Blazers could get a nice return for their superstar, trading him, Kevin Knox II, and Keon Johnson in exchange for Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, Cam Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe, one unprotected first-round pick, one first-round pick swap, and two second-round picks.
This would give the Blazers a potential star in Cam Thomas, who has shown glimpses of great potential as a three-level scorer and facilitator, and multiple pieces they could look to flip for even more draft capital, like Dinwiddie and Harris.
And last but not least, among all the potential Damian Lillard trade packages in 2023 the Blazers could get right now might well come from the Miami Heat, most likely because that’s also Lillard’s preferred destination, and it’s only right they do well by him after all he’s done for the organization.
In this hypothetical scenario, Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic would head to South Beach in exchange for Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, and Nikola Jovic, two first-round pick swaps, and two unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029.
This is the best scenario for them because Tyler Herro has a higher upside than all the players mentioned above. Moreover, there’s still a chance that Nikola Jovic will turn out to be a very good player, and Kyle Lowry has to be worth even more draft capital.
All rebuilding teams need to gather as many draft picks as they can, thus making this package all the more valuable. As for the Heat, they’d finally get the star they need next to Jimmy Butler to get over the hump and win another NBA Championship.
No guarantee of a trade
Even so, all this talking will be futile unless Lillard actually lets it be known that he wants to be traded. He’s always teasing to leave and then gets together with the front office to reaffirm his commitment to stay and win with the organization.
Truth be told, this is becoming tiring and borderline corny. Lillard and the Blazers are holding each other hostage, as there’s absolutely no way they can compete for a championship with their current roster, and they won’t be able to fully rebuild for as long as he’s there.
At the end of the day, it seems like either the Blazers will have to pull the plug and trade him against his own wishes, or he’ll have to backpedal and request a trade after vowing he would never run from the grind and pursue a ring somewhere else. Until then, this will all be wishful thinking and not much more.