Lillard has been the face of the Portland Trailblazers franchise for the past decade. This summer, he has been making it abundantly clear that he wants out of Portland and is determined to find a winning opportunity. The Miami Heat stands as his preferred destination.
Smith argued that the Knicks’ assets, chemistry, and cohesion should draw the 33-year-old superstar to New York. Smith’s valid points should entice the Trailblazers star to join the Big Apple.
The Trailblazers are in no rush to trade Damian Lillard
Considering Damian Lillard is owed a substantial $45 million for the upcoming season, any trade scenario involving him would require a significant price from the Portland Trailblazers. David Deckard of SBNation reported on July 8th that “no substantial talks” have been made between the Blazers and Heat. Additionally, Trailblazer’s general manager Joe Cronin said, “If it takes months, it takes months.” Portland is in no rush to move their best player.
How would Lillard fit in with the Knicks?
Lillard averaged a career-best 32 points per game in 58 games in 2022. A defensive-oriented coach and system could be exactly what a superstar of Lillard’s caliber needs. With his will to win and stellar offensive game, Lillard being the focal point of New York’s offense would also force defenses to pay less attention to All-Star PF Julius Randle.
Randle averaged 25 points per game last regular season and 16 points per game in the playoffs. He knows better than anyone how frustrating opponents can get a player in crucial moments and closing games.
Damian Lillard and Julius Randle could be an elite duo
Lillard showed his admiration for Randle through a Tweet back in March following a controversial travel call on Randle that ultimately cost the Knicks a postseason game. Lillard took to Twitter to voice his opinion on a call made by officials, tweeting, “Why did Scott Foster blow his whistle and give the nets the ball?”
The idea of trading for Lillard and pairing him with Randle is one that should excite New York’s fans. As one of the top offensive playmakers in the NBA, Lillard would immediately turn the Knicks into title contenders.