Damian Lillard Tells Fan to 'Bet A Million' That He Won't Join Lakers This OffseasonAugust 12, 2021
While fans continue to speculate about Damian Lillard's future, the Portland Trail Blazers star is doing his best to shut down the talk.
Responding to a fan on Twitter about how much money he should put down on whether the six-time All-Star joins the Los Angeles Lakers, Lillard said to "bet a million."
There are several reasons the Lakers are unlikely to get Lillard. The most important one: Neither he nor the Blazers have given any indication they are looking to move on.
Another problem is the Lakers would have a difficult time building an enticing package for Lillard. Their 2022 and 2024 first-round draft picks belong to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade.
The Pelicans also have the right to swap picks with the Lakers in 2023. Most of Los Angeles' young players who would have been attractive to Portland in a potential deal, with the possible exception of Talen Horton-Tucker, have already been moved.
Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart went to New Orleans in the Davis deal two years ago. Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell were dealt to the Washington Wizards in the Russell Westbrook trade Aug. 6.
The Lakers have no cap space with Westbrook, Davis and LeBron James set to make a combined $120.75 million next season.
It's possible Lillard will decide he wants to leave Portland sometime, but the odds that the Lakers are his destination before the 2021-22 season look so remote that the 31-year-old says he is willing to risk $1 million on a bet.