As ridiculous as it might seem, Golden State acquiring Dame isn’t necessarily out of the equation. It has a ton of assets to offer up to Portland in a hypothetical deal. Below, we look at whether the Warriors can offer up the best package for Damian Lillard in a trade with the Blazers.
Damian Lillard to the Golden State Warriors trade scenario #1
- Warriors get: Damian Lillard, Robert Covington
- Blazers get: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney, 7th and 14th picks in 2021 NBA Draft, two future first-round picks
Is Wiggins a No. 1 player on a contending team? No. He might not even be a secondary option as we saw last season with Golden State missing out on the playoffs. But when we ignore the fact that the 26-year-old forward was the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, we can evaluate him in a vacuum. Once that happens, it becomes clear that Wiggins is a darn good player.
- Andrew Wiggins 2020-21 stats: 18.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 48% shooting, 38% three-point, 3.9 win shares
To put this into perspective, Wiggins’ win shares ranked ahead of Blazers teammates Carmelo Anthony, Jusuf Nurkic and Norman Powell a season ago. The interesting dynamic here is that he’s not the centerpiece in a hypothetical Lillard blockbuster trade. Rather, that’s last year’s No. 2 pick James Wiseman. Despite injury and consistency issues, the center is still seen as a high-upside player and could be a catalyst for a rebuild in Portland.
To make matters even better for the Blazers, they are able to pick up stud young guard Jordan Poole in lieu of future pick swaps. Poole, 22, showed out big time during the ladder part of his sophomore season in Golden State — averaging 14.7 points on 35% shooting from distance in his final 36 games. Add in four first-round picks, including the seventh and 14th selections later this month, and Portland might have to bite if the Warriors offered this up.
Damian Lillard to the Golden State Warriors trade scenario #2
- Warriors get: Damian Lillard
- Blazers get: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Eric Paschall, 7th and 14th picks in 2021 NBA Draft, future first-round pick, two pick swaps
This scenario includes Golden State replacing Poole with another youngster in Paschall and two future pick swaps. It also nets Portland one less future first-round pick with Robert Covington likely being part of a separate deal for more assets.
Why would this work for Portland? It’s simple. If the team were forced to trade Dame, it would then have to start anew with a rebuild. Acquiring two lottery picks this year as well as three potential young cornerstone players would set the team up well to be competitive out of the gate. Add in a future unprotected first-round pick, and this might be the best scenario for Portland.
What can other team offer the Portland Trail Blazers for Damian Lillard?
There’s a total of four teams that were listed a preferred landing spots for Lillard in a previous report. That includes the Heat, Lakers, Knicks and aforementioned Warriors. What can each team offer Portland in comparison to Golden State?
- Damian Lillard to the Miami Heat: Unfortunately, Miami just doesn’t have the assets to offer up Portland short of making star center Bam Adebayo available. That’s unlikely to happen. Young guard Tyler Herro would become the centerpiece in this trade. Without a first-round pick in 2021 or 2022 to offer up, the earliest Miami could send a top-30 selection to Portland would be 2024. Would the Blazers then be willing to take first-round selections in 2026 and 2028 as well as multiple pick swaps to complete this deal? I am not too sure.
- Damian Lillard to the Los Angeles Lakers: Simply put, Los Angeles just doesn’t have the juice to acquire Lillard unless he forces his way to Southern California. The New Orleans Pelicans own control of Los Angeles’ first-round picks for the next five years after 2021, via either pick swap or straight compensation. There’s objectively no way a package surrounding Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker as well as first-round picks in 2026 and 2028 gets this done.
- Damian Lillard to the New York Knicks: Here’s a team that could rival the Warriors when it comes to a trade package. The issue here is a recent report indicating that New York is not willing to part with R.J. Barrett in any trade. That complicates things in a big way. With Barrett as an option, New York could offer him up with the likes of Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley to get a deal done. In addition to that, the team has two first-round picks in 2021 and a top-10 protected pick via Dallas in 2023 it could leverage as bait.
Bottom line: Golden State Warriors have what it takes to land Damian Lillard
If we’re looking at full-market value in a hypothetical Lillard blockbuster this summer, it seems to be between the Warriors and Knicks. Each team has the goods to offer up a heck of a bounty to Portland.
At issue here for Golden State is Portland’s brass. Would embattled general manager Neil Olshey even consider trading Damian Lillard to a Western Conference rival that has been a thorn in his side? Heck, we’re not even sure Dame would want to join a super-team. He’s spoken out against that in the past.
But if all things were created equal, it’s not a stretch to say that the Golden State Warriors could offer up the best package to acquire Lillard should he request a trade. In no way does that mean it’s even remotely possible. A lot would have to happen in order for this to come to fruition.