1: Dame Time in Toronto?
Okay, so if Damian Lillard were traded to the Raptors, it’d be different than the Kawhi Leonard deal in 2018. Leonard was set to enter free agency the following year, while Lillard still has three full seasons left on his current contract, and that doesn’t include his $63.2 million player option for 2026-27.
Lillard reportedly would request another trade if he were to be dealt anywhere other than Miami, but Toronto has emerged as a serious trading partner. The star guard is the best option Masai Ujiri has to create a contender, and the Raptors have more to offer than the Heat.
Andscape’s Marc Spears said that some GMs believe Lillard will be traded before Media Day, meaning a deal could go down in the next few days. Miami could reemerge as the leading suitor for Lillard, but based on what’s been reported, the idea of Lillard being traded to Toronto is becoming more of a possibility.
If that happens, the Raptors would go from being labeled as a play-in team at best to a contender. Although Lillard wants to go to Miami, it doesn’t seem possible he’ll outright refuse to play for Toronto. At the end of the day, he’s a competitor, and his arrival to the Atlantic Division would make the Knicks’ path to the playoffs more challenging.