Damian Lillard Officially Requests Trade From the Trail Blazers

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic

After 11 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard has officially requested a trade from the organization -- the one that selected him sixth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Weber State.

Over the 2022-23 NBA year, Lillard played in only 58 of 82 contests while dealing with a recurring calf issue. This past March (and with Portland slipping out of playoff contention), the Blazers announced Lillard would not play for the remainder of the season. Portland finished the campaign 33-49 (13th in the Western Conference).

Lillard has averaged 25.2 points per game for his career while shooting 37.2% from three-point range and dishing out 6.7 assists per game. So what may happen next for the star point guard from East Oakland, California?

Damian Lillard's Likely Landing Spots

Miami Heat

Per Shams Charania of the Athletic, Lillard prefers to be traded to a contender. More specifically, Lillard has expressed a desire to play for the reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat.

On a recent The Last Stand podcast appearance, Lillard stated in regards to playing for a different organization, "Miami is the obvious one. Bam [Adebayo] is my dog." Lillard has often mentioned loyalty and family as two cornerstone aspects for him, so joining up with Miami's Bam Adebayo seems not at all unlikely. Additionally, Lillard's play style and mentality would align with the tenacious Jimmy Butler.

Brooklyn Nets

In the same episode of The Last Stand with Brian Custer, Lillard confirmed the Brooklyn Nets were also on his radar. Brooklyn has a younger core of talent with Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson. Technically, Ben Simmons is also still there.

Despite losing both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last year, the Nets rallied to finish 45-37, earning the Eastern Conference's 6 seed for the 2023 postseason. Ultimately, Brooklyn was eliminated from playoff contention after being swept by the Philadelphia 76ers in the opening round.

Portland Trail Blazers

As of July 3, 2023, Lillard still plays for Portland. With that, FanDuel Sportsbook's 2023-24 NBA Championship odds currently show the Blazers at +25000 (tied 22nd out of 30) to win it all. Before any trade involving Lillard has been made, the aforementioned Heat (+1000 NBA title odds) and Nets (+10000) are already seen as more likely title candidates -- we'll see what direction the numbers head if/when/where Lillard is moved.

There is always a potential for Lillard and the Blazers to have a change of heart. Though uncommon, athletes -- such as Kobe Bryant and Lamar Jackson -- have requested trades from their original teams before ultimately reconvening. Considering Portland's recent selection of point guard Scoot Henderson in the 2023 NBA Draft, a reunion for Lillard in "Rip City" does not appear likely.

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.