Mark your calendars, because “tracking Damian Lillard”Has an official closing date – plus a confirmed destination. At least according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, who boldly predicted that the Portland Trail Blazers star will end up landing in Miami before Christmas.
Without an official transfer request, in addition to what CJ McCallum said, through ESPN’s Adrian WojnarowskiWhile his backcourt partner is totally dedicated to the team, Lillard seems destined to start the 20-21 season in the same way he has for the past nine years, as a member of the Blazers. However, Swartz does not foresee that he will stay in Portland much beyond that, and imagines that an agreement between the Boston Celtics and Lillard will be the first of the handover deals to be finalized.
“Even if Lillard starts the season in Portland, a trade to the Boston Celtics will not take long to materialize,” Swartz wrote. Like James Harden who played just eight games with the Houston Rockets last season before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, Lillard’s move to Boston will be the first big deal of the season..
Is it worth its price?
Of course, acquiring a player of Lillard’s stature won’t be a bargain and, as you’d expect, a deal will surely have to include Jaylen Brown. Swartz’s projection is in tune with his train of thought, no doubt. The B / R columnist proposes several young developing players as bait. These players include outstanding player from the Summer League, Payton pritchard, and one might even think of including recently hired Dennis Schroeder.
With Jayson Tatum out of any deal, the Celtics can offer Portland a pack of players headed by Jaylen Brown, who can include other young talents (Aaron Nesmith, Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Payton Pritchard) to tempt them. The Celtics have all of their future top draft picks on hand in case the Blazers ask for such compensation. If newly hired Dennis Schroeder is included in the deal, it would have to be after November 11 (three months after joining Boston)
We’ve vehemently opposed ditching Brown, first-time all-star last season, in exchange for Lillard who is seven years older. Not to mention the huge $ 196 million contract that generates revenues of 45 million per year through 2025, almost 20 million more than what Brown would charge per year until 2024.
Will Stevens do his best?
In this scenario the Celtics would gut their squad. They would dramatically improve the starting point guard position, but at the same time they wouldn’t have anyone of quality as Lillard’s backup. The idea of letting Pritchard and Schroeder go is very complicated as it would give someone like Carsen Edwards much more time on the floor, and it is not something the team wants. On the other hand, Schroeder only signed for one year, while the Contract extension Marcus Smart’s game could cut Pritchard’s playing time while he plays for the Celtics.
As many “super teams” have shown us in the past, a duo or trio of superstars can give you results in this league. The teams will worry about putting together their squads when the moment is right, as long as they have a couple of weapons to go out to fight. And, as Swartz says, the Celtics would be in good hands with duo Tatum and Lillard.
A core made up of Lillard, Tatum, Marcus Smart, Al Horford and whoever remains available after the trade should once again lead Boston to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Portland will rebuild its team around Brown. After Danny Ainge failed for an entire decade to bring in star players through trades, Brad Stevens succeeds in adding one of the NBA’s best players in his first season as the Celtics’ president of operations.
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This is the original version of Heavy.com by Vinny Somma