Option 3: The Damian Lillard Trade
PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Gary Trent Jr.
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Jakob Poeltl
Not only are the Raptors in on the Lillard sweepstakes, but they have reportedly been asking the Blazers about trade packages that do not involve either Barnes or Siakam. If Ujiri can pull such a move off, his status as one of the best negotiators in the game will only continue to grow.
Lillard will obviously take over as the team’s point guard, top scorer, and offensive leader. Any lineup where Trent is the worst player of the five is incredibly deep and balanced, which could help this team contend for something special in 2023-24 and beyond.
Damian Lillard could improve the Toronto Raptors.
The challenges in this lineup will come with figuring out how to share responsibilities. Barnes will be entering yet another season as the tertiary scoring option, and Trent’s impact could be lessened greatly if he is unable to shoot with the same frequency he had last season.
Even with those faults, the Raptors would be doing their franchise a major disservice if they don’t turn over every Lillard-related stone. This lineup has enough juice, should everyone adapt to their new rules, to move into that upper echelon in the Eastern Conference.