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#pounditTuesday, November 29, 2022

Blazers eyeing new All-Star partner for Damian Lillard?

Damian Lillard in a Blazers jersey

Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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