Damian Lillard has long preached loyalty to his team. He played his career in an era of massive player movement, and stars joining forces in order to create big threes and super teams around the league.
Where Will Damian Lillard Play If He Leaves Portland?
Damian Lillard says Miami is ‘obviously’ his first choice over Boston, New York and Brooklyn in a hypothetical trade
“Bam is my dawg”
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) June 7, 2023
But Lillard has never wavered, even as the Portland Trail Blazers have failed to surround him with the necessary talent to take the team to the next level. Unfortunately, things have gotten worse over the last two seasons. The Blazers have gone 60-104 over that span, missing out on the playoffs entirely for the first time since 2013.
Given the current situation for both team and player, it stands to reason that Lillard could be on the move at some point in the near future. Portland holds the rights to the third overall pick in the upcoming draft, and they have a decision to make on whether they’d like to go with a youth movement and start a rebuild, or use that asset for another shot with Lillard.
But where might he go if he is traded? BetOnline.ag has released the betting lines for the most possible destinations. Here are some of the options of where Damian Lillard might play in 2023-24 if he leaves the Blazers:
3 Possible Destinations For Lillard:
Miami Heat ( 200)
Pat Riley and the Miami Heat are always on the search for their next star, and they will likely be looking to make changes to their current core despite their deep playoff run. He would be a perfect fit, given that Miami does not have a point guard of the future in place, and Lillard’s career timeline is essentially matched up with Jimmy Butler’s in that they are both looking to win now while still in their primes.
Lillard himself added fuel to this particular fire in an interview earlier in the week. When given a handful of options of where he’d like to play should he leave Portland, Miami was his obvious choice.
San Antonio Spurs ( 900)
Not typically a destination on lists like this for high profile players, the San Antonio Spurs are suddenly looking like an attractive landing spot. The team holds the rights to the first overall pick and once-in-a-lifetime prospect in Victor Wembanyama, and the future looks bright for a team that spent the last couple of years in the league’s basement.
Would Lillard play there? Given the option, he’d likely choose Miami or one of the New York area teams, but keep an eye on the Spurs as a dark horse option.
Los Angeles Lakers ( 1200)
The Lakers are going to be linked to essentially every available point guard this off-season from Kyrie Irving to Chris Paul. LeBron James and company will certainly be looking to upgrade, and Lillard could be an option, according to BetOnline. The issue would be salary, as Los Angeles is already dishing out big money to James and Anthony Davis, and have a decision to make on Austin Reaves’ future. It is unclear how they’d make a trade work or figure out the financial details, but it certainly remains an option and possibility.
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