The Toronto Raptors have never been closer to a Damian Lillard trade than they are right now. Amid some hesitation by the Portland Trail Blazers to move Lillard to the Miami Heat, the Raptors are willing and able to potentially jump in and swipe him away without giving up some of their more prized long-term assets in the deal.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Trail Blazers are motivated to get a Lillard done before training camp. However, Woj said the Heat have not been involved. This could mean Masai Ujiri’s Raps, identified as the mystery team which is pursuing Lillard, are trying to hammer out some sort of move that brings the future Hall of Famer to Canada.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Raptors and Chicago Bulls are the two teams that have been most frequently discussed in league circles as landing spots for Lillard. Both teams seem willing to call Lillard’s bluff and assume he will show up ready to win with his new team.
More Raptors news
- Toronto shook things up in the front office. Chad Sanders, who was named G League Executive of the Year as GM of Raptors 905, has been promoted to the Raptors’ director of scouting. Luke Wynn will replace him as GM in the G League. Former Toronto player Ben Uzoh has been hired as a pro scout.
- Zach Harper and Shams Charania of The Athletic poured cold water on the idea of the Raps trading for Indiana Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield. The duo postulated that Indiana would not be willing to attach any picks to Hield in a win-now trade, and Toronto themselves may not be interested in a 1-for-1 swap.
- Fischer’s news drop also confirmed that nothing new appears to be happening on the James Harden front. Fischer confirmed that Harden expects to be traded, with the Los Angeles Clippers still at the forefront of his list of destinations. However, as has been shown with Lillard, that doesn’t always mean the player will get what they want.
- The Golden State Warriors decided against signing future Hall of Fame big man Dwight Howard to a contract, citing their need for roster flexibility. Howard spent last season with the Toayuan Leopards, and he might need to head back if he is unable to find an NBA contract.
Will the Raptors end up with Lillard after their front office movement?