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#pounditSunday, April 21, 2024

New team emerging in Damian Lillard trade talks

Damian Lillard warms up before a game

Mar 19, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) participates in warmups before playing LA Clippers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 NBA season is just around the corner. With the clock ticking on moving Damian Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers appear to be widening the search for a potential trade partner.

It’s no secret that Lillard has been adamant about ending up on the Miami Heat. However, no trade has materialized between the Heat and Blazers ever since the star point guard sent in his trade request nearly three months ago. Based on Lillard’s recent social media activity, he appears to still be enamored with joining forces with Jimmy Butler.

Could another East team swoop in and outbid the Heat in the Lillard sweepstakes? NBA insider Marc J. Spears of Andscape made a recent appearance on “NBA Today” and reported that another East squad has engaged the Blazers.

“The latest I’m hearing is the Blazers have been talking to several teams… I’m kind of hearing rumors about another Eastern Conference team that I’m not gonna throw out there just yet.”

Aside from Lillard’s mystery East suitor, Spears specifically mentions the Boston Celtics as a potential “will they do it?” team.

The suitor would most likely be a veteran team looking to contend this season. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear the Philadelphia 76ers as the mystery team. Team president Daryl Morey has shown an affinity with acquiring stars in the past. Perhaps acquiring an another All-Star guard like Lillard could fix his deteriorating relationship with his current one.

Most of the East’s top sides either have their guard spots seemingly set or don’t appear to have the assets that would form a package much better than a Tyler Herro-centered one.

But until a Lillard trade actually materializes, every team still has a chance to acquire the 7-time All-Star.

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