3. Knicks win Damian Lillard sweepstakes
Lillard has requested a trade out of Portland, but the Miami Heat are rumored to be the only destination of interest for the seven-time All-Star. The Blazers are in no rush to trade him, and they won’t sell low on the best player in franchise history. If the Heat cannot make an acceptable offer, Lillard has to decide between staying in Portland or opening up his trade request to other teams.
Dame showed interest in the Nets to begin the offseason, but could he get on board with playing at Madison Square Garden if it meant contending for a championship? The Knicks could make a monster offer and help the Blazers clear Jusuf Nurkic off their books.
Lillard is an undersized point guard, so the Knicks would have to deal with having two sharing the backcourt. Dame’s limitless range should help on the offensive end of the floor, but can the duo hold up defensively, especially in the playoffs? It is a legit question, and one that should give the Knicks pause before making this deal.
The two sides swap undesirable assets with the Trail Blazers getting an All-Star in Randle plus a capable starting center and three first-round picks. Portland could quickly jump into contention if Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, and Shaedon Sharpe continue to improve.
This is a risky move, but the New York Knicks must take a shot if they want to become true title challengers.