The New Orleans Pelicans are among several teams interested in Damian Lillard and the latest NBA trade rumors suggest that they’ve already held talks with the Portland Trail Blazers. Other teams interested in the six-time All-Star may soon follow suit.
After pledging nine years of undeterred loyalty to the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard is unsure about his future. Other franchises continue to circle around Lillard like vultures, and as per independent journalist Landon Buford, the New Orleans Pelicans have gone ahead and tabled an offer.
Damian Lillard is currently preparing for the USA Men’s National Basketball Team’s opening game in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics against France. He’s not asked for a trade yet but is expected to speak to the Portland Trail Blazers’ hierarchy in the days to come and make a call later.
NBA Trade Rumors: Can New Orleans Pelicans offer an acceptable deal to the Portland Trail Blazers for Damian Lillard?
The number of picks on offer is open for debate, but Brandon Ingram is a good starting point in the New Orleans Pelicans’ offer to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers need a legitimate two-way wing who can score and defend at a high level and Ingram fits the bill.
Ingram could slot into his favored small forward spot with CJ McCollum taking over point guard duties and Norman Powell – if the Portland Trail Blazers re-sign him – completing the backcourt. This would allow Portland to have a competitive core even after parting ways with Lillard. The incoming picks could be used to add depth to the current roster or to secure the future.
While the New Orleans Pelicans have the assets to offer a good package to the Portland Trail Blazers, they may not be Damian Lillard’s ideal landing spot. He could surely be lured by the idea of playing with Zion Williamson. Lillard’s potency from range and Zion’s explosiveness in the paint would create all sorts of problems for the opposition. At the same time, the Pelicans are still a work in progress.
Zion Williamson is only entering his third season, the New Orleans Pelicans will have a new head coach in Willie Green and the roster doesn’t look good enough to win a ring on paper. It’s a big deal-breaker for Damian Lillard who’d want to move to a team that allows him to compete for the championship immediately.
There’s still plenty to unfold in this ongoing saga, with Damian Lillard not in a rush to get traded as of now. Even if he eventually takes that route, the New Orleans Pelicans may not have the best odds of landing him, irrespective of how compelling their offer is.
Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: Damian Lillard attracting interest from 5 teams including Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets