The Toronto Raptors were long thought of as an afterthought in the Damian Lillard trade sweepstakes, as the Portland Trail Blazers star seemed willing to do whatever it took to force his way onto the Miami Heat. The latest rumblings make it seem like the Raptors are going to give acquiring Lillard an honest shot.
The latest reports from Marc Spears hinted that an unknown Eastern Conference team was trying to grab Lillard before the Heat could secure his services. If Matt Moore of The Action Network is to be believed, it was none other than the Raptors who were poking around the Lillard market.
The Raptors should still be considered longshots in their pursuit of Lillard, as there are a lot of moving parts that could threaten to upend this deal. Having said that, Toronto owes it to their fanbase to at least consider getting Blazers executive Joe Cronin on the phone once again.
Toronto will need to figure out if all of the issues that come with bringing Lillard to town are worth it. If they figure out, in their mind, that Lillard could be a fit for this team, they should pull the trigger on bringing one of the best players in NBA history over to Canada.
Pros and Cons of Raptors trading for Damian Lillard
Players like Lillard don’t come on the market very often. Lillard can still challenge for 30 points per game every single night, as he is one of the best shooters in the league. Who better to fix one of the worst half-court offenses in the league than the Portland superstar?
While losing OG Anunoby (in all likelihood) and multiple first-round picks will likely be something Masai Ujiri doesn’t want to do, the possibility of acquiring such a game-changer without giving up either Scottie Barnes or Pascal Siakam represents a golden opportunity this front office can’t squander.
Damian Lillard could fit in with the Toronto Raptors.
Rather than risking the possibility of losing some of their core players in free agency and being left as a desolate wasteland around Scottie Barnes, adding Lillard would give them a contention window for multiple seasons, irrespective of which players end up bolting in 2024.
A starting five consisting of Lillard running the show at point guard, Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. as a pair of high-scoring wings, and a mighty frontcourt of Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl would be enough to not only make the postseason but compete for a top-four spot regularly.