The Toronto Raptors, like the rest of the league, are waiting for the inevitable shoe to drop in the seemingly endless Damian Lillard drama. The Portland Trail Blazers seem resigned to the fact that Lillard’s time in Oregon is ending, with the Miami Heat clearly at the top of his list of possible destinations.
The Raptors have long been floating around on the periphery of the Lillard sweepstakes, with some speculating they could end up with Tyler Herro and other Heat assets as part of a three-team deal. Can they forgo the Herro pursuit and try to land the big fish?
Reports by names like Marc Spears suggest an anonymous Eastern Conference team is in on the Lillard sweepstakes despite Lillard trying to force his way to Miami. With more rumors making their way out into the basketball consciousness, it’s becoming clear that Masai Ujiri is interested in Lillard.
According to Matt Moore of The Action Network, the Raptors have shown some interest in trading for Lillard. With how quickly the infamous mystery team report was put out in the ether, it’s easy to connect the dots and identify Toronto as the team in question.
NBA rumors: Raptors connected to Damian Lillard trade
The Raptors’ offer will likely center around OG Anunoby, as he is an impending free agent who could be a solid fit alongside Portland’s stable of high-end young guards. Scottie Barnes is not on the market, and Pascal Siakam is likely not going to be involved in these talks.
If the Raptors get Lillard in a trade, it would be foolish to refer to them as anything less than a contender for the Eastern Conference crown. Lillard is the shot in the arm this offense needs, as he is still one of the best players this game has to offer at any position.
Lillard would be the starting point guard alongside his former teammate in Gary Trent Jr, leaving Siakam and Barnes as a pair of high-end forwards and Jakob Poeltl as the center. How is that not one of the best starting lineups in the league?
Lillard coming to Toronto may be unlikely, as he reportedly wants Miami or nothing, but Kawhi Leonard managed to make magic in Canada after some initial reluctance. Will Lillard welcome a move up north?