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The Portland Trail Blazers continue to look for the best trade offer they can get for Damian Lillard, and with multiple teams jumping on board, it seems like the Miami Heat are no longer a lock to get him.
The latest reports show that the Toronto Raptors are heavily involved and interested in getting him to Canada, regardless of Lillard’s desire to play in South Florida’s warm weather.
With that in mind, NBA insider Danny Marang reports that Masai Ujiri and the Raptors won’t even consider trading former Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes to get Lillard (via Dru).
“Scottie Barnes is not factoring in this. I have heard the Raptors, that Masai — just unwilling to engage on that. The touchpoint is gonna be O.G. Anunoby & whether or not he’s included in the deal…You can bring him to Portland…or you trade him to a 3rd or 4th team”@DannyMarang pic.twitter.com/MSvk1Te4PV
— Dru (@dru_star) September 25, 2023
Instead, it’ll all depend on whether they’re willing to include O.G. Anunoby in the transaction, even if the Blazers don’t want to keep him and look to move him to another team instead.
Truth be told, it’s hard to think that Lillard would want to play for the Raptors.
The reason he wants to leave Portland is because they don’t have a championship-caliber team, and things wouldn’t be that much different up north.
Pascal Siakam is entering the final year of his contract and seems unlikely to extend his stay in Canada, and Barnes regressed vastly last season.
They lost some depth and could be even more undermanned if they also part ways with Anunoby, who’s obviously going to be instrumental in getting Lillard in the first place.
At the end of the day, though, Lillard doesn’t have a say in where he’s traded to, and the Blazers will only take the best offer, regardless of how he feels.
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