Damian Lillard requests a trade!

@Twitter: @GGirlSports.

On Saturday July 1st, one day after start of NBA Free Agency, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard requested a trade.  Lillard specifically expressed his desire to contend in the NBA and win a championship on multiple occasions.  Furthermore, Lillard didn't want a say in the NBA Draft, nor free agency, and requested a trade after both ended.  Let's take a look at the best odds where Damian Lillard will land.   If you are looking for the best betting odds and stats, here is information to know.

Damian Lillard- Guard/Portland Trail Blazers

(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

Damian Lillard has spent his entire career with the Portland Trail Blazers and was the 6th overall pick in 2012.  During Lillard's tenure, he was named the 2013 Rookie of the Year, was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, and is a 7x NBA All-Star. In addition, Lillard was All-NBA First Team in 2018, a 4x All- NBA Second Team, and a 2x All-NBA Third Team. In 11 years with Portland, he led the Blazers to 8 playoff appearances from 2013-2020.  Although Portland made the playoffs for several years, they've never got past the Western Conference Semifinals.  After years of denying trade requests, Lillard stayed loyal to Portland for over a decade.  

Lillard preferred destination.

According to Marc Spears, 'Damian Lillard wants to play for the Miami Heat, and that he has told the Blazers that.'  Also, Damian Lillard does not have a no trade clause in his contract, meaning he can't control where he lands. However, it's been clear Lillard ONLY wants to be trade to Miami.  With that said, it looks as though the Trail Blazers value Lillard highly and will talk to multiple teams. According to ESPNS' Adrian Wojnarowski, “The Blazers’ front office, their organization made it clear to teams who called yesterday about Damian Lillard that they are open for business everywhere in the league on him."

It's certainly been clear Lillard wanted to remain with and win a championship with Portland. However, they missed the playoffs the last three years, and Portland wasn't able to unload the third overall pick.  Instead of trading the third overall pick for a veteran all-star, they selected G-League Ignite sensation Scoot Henderson.  In addition, the Trail Blazers signed Jerami Grant in free agency, and didn't have other moves to build around Lillard. Damian Lillard is one of the best guards in the league, and the Portland Trail Blazers assumingly will ask for a large package in return for Dame.  

According to ESPNS Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers will "do what's best for the organization" and are "gonna be open to every possibility."  With that said, Portland GM Joe Cronin has stated he is aware Damian Lillard wants out, and the Blazers are still committed to winning per Chris Hanes. 

Current Contract

4 Years, $176,265,152

Year               Base Salary
2021-2022    $39,344,900
2022-2023    $42,492,492
2023-2024    $45,640,084
2024-2024    $48,787,676 (Player Exercised)

*Contract does not include a no-trade clause. *

*All stats provided by Spotrac*

Team Odds to Land Damian Lillard

*Odds Courtesy of Bet Online*

Team                             Odds

Miami Heat                    -500
Brooklyn Nets                +300
Philadelphia 76ers         +700
New York Knicks            +900
Los Angeles Clippers      +1200
San Antonio Spurs         +1400
Los Angeles Lakers         +1600

Miami Heat -500

Miami Heat's star Tyler Herro has officially removed 'Miami Heat' from his twitter bio, is it time to speculate?  It's no secret the Miami Heat is the ONLY preferred destination of Damian Lillard. Over the past few weeks, Heat's Jimmy Butler posted photos of Lillard's music on Instagram, which sparked rumors. In addition, Damian Lillard was listening to "Welcome to Miami" on his Instagram Live, which I happened to catch.  

Miami is led by Head Coach, Erik Spoelstra, who has led the Heat to two NBA championships.  In addition, Miami made the Finals, in which they came up short against the Denver Nuggets.  Although the Heat are $54 million over in cap space, they recently lost guards Gabe Vincent and Max Strus in free agency.  Furthermore, Miami signed Kevin Love, Josh Richardson, and Thomas Bryant this week. 

I honestly don't blame Damian Lillard for wanting to play in Miami.  The Heat are led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who are desperately seeking a third star.  According to Chris Haynes, "Miami has been waiting for this domino to fall and will quickly engage with Portland in trying to get a deal done, sources say,” writes Haynes. “Heat star Jimmy Butler has relayed to the team that Lillard is his No. 1 target, sources say.”

Why the Heat make sense. 

Chris Hayes also reported that the Heat are "prepared to offer a package centered around Tyler Herro, with possibly Duncan Robinson and picks." Tyler Herro is coming off a hand fracture, and both him and Robinson are deadly three-point shooters.  They are viewed as key trade assets, given the two of them are owed a combined $45 million next season.  In addition, veteran guard Kyle Lowry is due to make nearly $30 million this season, and Miami has 2024-2027 first round picks.  However, they only have two tradable picks due to their pick swap with the Thunder in 2025. 

With Gabe Vincent and Max Strus gone, the Heat desperately need a playmaker who can score and facilitate the ball.  Lillard would fit in great with a system that is known for developing young and undrafted players.  It would also be ideal if Miami could retain Caleb Martin, who was a big part of their postseason success last season. 

Brooklyn Nets +300

The Brooklyn Nets are an intriguing team, who is full of young talent, and have a multitude of future draft picksLast season, the Nets traded both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, which they received a lot of value in return.   In return, the Nets received Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and four unprotected future first-round picks. In addition, the Nets traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian-Finney-Smith, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, and a 2029 second round pick. With that said, the Brooklyn nets have the most assets and future trade picks to trade for out of any team, in my opinion. 

In Free Agency this week, Brooklyn resigned Cam Johnson to a 4-year $108 million contract, along with Lonnie Walker IV, and Dennis Smith Jr.  With Ben Simmons status in the air, he is on the books for $37 million next season, along with Spencer Dinwiddie, who is owed $20 million.  The Nets are only $28 million over cap space and could move players around to make this deal happen.  It's unknown if Lillard wants to play with a young core, however, they are an extremely talented group.  The addition of Lillard to Johnson, Bridges, and Claxton would make them an immediate contender in the Eastern Conference. 

Philadelphia 76ers +700

The Philadelphia 76ers were informed this week that star guard James Harden requested a sign and trade deal. With that said, the 76ers still have MVP winner Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, although Maxey would most likely be part of the deal.  After failing to beat the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Philadelphia fired head coach Doc Rivers, and hired Nick Nurse.  Although this is an unlikely scenario, the 76ers are looking for a guard to replace Harden, and to team up with Embiid. 

Damian Lillard averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game this last season, and there are no signs of him slowing down.  Philadelphia has been in playoff contention for a number of years, however, has lost three straight Eastern Conference Semifinals. To me, Philadelphia could be contenders with Lillard and Embiid. However, the 76ers could lack depth at the point guard position with Harden on the way out, especially if Tyrese Maxey is included in the trade. 

Overall, the departure of James Harden and the acquisition of very few players in free agency could be a turn off for Lillard.  The 76ers added veteran Patrick Beverly in free agency, and have role players in Tobias Harris, P.J Tucker, and De'Anthony Melton.  

New York Knicks +900

Much like Brooklyn, the New York Knicks are changing their narrative and are a big market team.  Led by star guard Jalen Brunson, the Knicks can be viewed as a destination for stars.  New York recently signed Donte DiVincenzo in free agency, and have big man Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Josh Hart, and Mitchel Robinson. It's highly likely that RJ Barrett would be included in the trade, along with Mitchell Robinson.  

Although the Knicks have a defined core, would it be enough for Damian Lillard? After several years of playoff drought, New York made the playoffs last season, and Damien Lillard would fit great alongside star Jalen Brunson. It's important to note the Knicks have 8 first-round picks that are tradable. Perhaps New York finally gets another superstar, and possible a third team involved. 

Other Teams: 

As of right now, the Trail Blazers will consider each team, and will pick which scenario will be best for the team.  I believe the Lakers are out, especially the recent splash they made in free agency.  With the addition of Gabe Vincent, Austin Reaves, and D'Angelo Russell, I don't see a fit for Lillard on that team.  

According to Ramona Shelburne, Lillard has 'deep respect' for the San Antionio Spurs Organization.  This would be an interesting fit, given they drafted Victor Wembanyama #1 overall. The Spurs are known for being a winning organization, are led by Head Coach Gregg Popovich, and have a young core, and tradable assets.   Victor Wembanyama was scouted as a generational talent, and the idea of teaming up with him could be lucrative to any star.  In addition, San Antonio has up to 29 draft picks over the next several years, and have young talent in Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, and Tre Jones.

Damian Lillard would make sense for the Clippers, however, they resigned Russell Westbrook, and there are rumors James Harden will land there.  

Dark Horse Team: The Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz have undergone quite the roster transformation over the past year and is one of the teams that would make the best sense.  Per the Athletic, the Utah Jazz are expected to show interest in Damian Lillard. 

The Utah Jazz finished 12th in the Western Conference after unloading stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.  Although they had a sub .500 record, Danny Ainge, an executive for the Utah Jazz, and has put together championship teams during his Celtics tenure.  In addition, the Jazz have a core that includes Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, Kelly Olynyk, and Talen Horton-Tucker.  The Jazz recently traded for Atlanta's John Collins, and could easily package Sexton, another player, and future picks.  

If there is anything the Utah Jazz have, it's an abundance of draft assets and players.  Will Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik get this trade done? 

Stay tuned for more basketball and betting related articles. Click here for more NBA betting strategies.

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Sara Jane is a full-time content creator, focusing on both college basketball, the NBA, NFL, and writer of Ballislife.com. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter/YouTube/Kick/Twitch/Instagram: @GGirlSports.


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