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Damian Lillard Trade Rumors: Warriors 'Already Internally Discussed the Idea' of Deal

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 12, 2021

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

The Golden State Warriors are reportedly considered a potential destination for Damian Lillard if the Portland Trail Blazers point guard is traded this offseason.

"They'd make a call and have already internally discussed the idea, as I'm sure most contenders have, considering the rising smoke out of Portland," Anthony Slater of The Athletic wrote.

Lillard is signed to Portland through 2023-24 (player option in 2024-25), but Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported in June he could force his way out through a trade. The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly "angling" to get Lillard, per J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.

The Athletic also listed the New York Knicks as a team that could be interested.

Per Slater, the Warriors could offer perhaps the best package in a trade, headlined by 2020 No. 2 pick James Wiseman, plus the No. 7 and No. 14 picks in the 2021 draft. The team would also add Andrew Wiggins for salary-matching purposes and future first-rounders to complete a deal.

Lillard, 30, averaged 28.8 points and 7.5 assists per game last season en route to earning his sixth career All-Star selection.

Pairing him with scoring champ Stephen Curry would give the Warriors the most exciting backcourt in the league, especially when Klay Thompson returns to full strength from the torn right Achilles that kept him out all last season.

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The question is whether this is a good fit, either for Golden State or Lillard.

Curry (6'3") and Lillard (6'2") would make for an undersized backcourt that could struggle defensively, and the Warriors would be left without much frontcourt presence without Wiseman and only Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and Eric Paschall as the current bigs of note.

The Warriors, who missed the playoffs last season, still look better than the Blazers (sixth seed in 2020-21) on paper, but Lillard would be banking on things breaking right for Golden State to get back to its championship-level potential.

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