Blazers eyeing new All-Star partner for Damian Lillard?
Damian Lillard may soon be officially replacing CJ McCollum with a new best friend.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said this week on “The Hoop Collective” that the Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as a possible landing spot this offseason for All-Star guard Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls.
“Let me just say that as I’ve talked to league executives, when they saw what LaVine said and what they see the Blazers can do, that scenario has popped up,” Windhorst said.
LaVine, who will be a free agent this summer, recently said that he plans to keep an open mind with his future.
Zach on free agency: "I understand the relationship I've had with AK and the last five years here, I hope the city understands how much I care about the Bulls. I'm going into everything open-minded but knowing how much I've enjoyed my time here." pic.twitter.com/85OhzBkPBv
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) April 29, 2022
The Bulls can offer LaVine the biggest contract (five years for roughly $200 million). But it is unclear if they plan to do so since they already have nearly $70 million committed to just DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Lonzo Ball for next season. Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu (both 22 years old) also lurk as potentially more cost-effective guards on the roster.
As for the Blazers, they have cap space up the wazoo, especially since trading Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers in a cost-saving move. Portland is also searching for another star to pair with Lillard after shipping McCollum to the Pelicans. They recently got linked to another notable name as well. LaVine, a native of nearby Seattle, Wash., should be an additional intriguing target for them as they look to reverse this year’s 27-55 finish.