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Report: Damian Lillard 'Obsessed' with Idea of Draymond Green Joining Trail Blazers

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVNovember 3, 2021

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is reportedly "obsessed" with the idea of the team trying to make a trade for Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported Portland's continued interest in the three-time All-Star during an appearance Wednesday on the HoopsHype Podcast.

"The Blazers would love to have him," Slater said when asked for an update on trade rumors involving Green. "Lillard has been obsessed with getting him there for a while."

Lillard played alongside Green with Team USA at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo as the heavily favored Americans overcame some lackluster performances during the exhibition slate and the early tournament games to win the gold medal.

The face of the Blazers franchise credited the longtime Warriors star for pushing him to become more assertive offensively while playing with so many NBA stars.

He detailed a situation following a group-stage loss to France where Green called him out for passing up a shot he'd usually take without hesitation.

"He was just like, 'That's not what you do. Like, you knock those types of shots down, and that's what we needed you to do at that moment. You passing up opportunities like that doesn't serve this team well,'" Lillard told reporters in July. "We spoke about it and it was simple. I just said, 'I should have shot it and it won't happen again.' I'm gonna come correct going forward."

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Lillard led the Americans in scoring in their next game, a blowout win over Iran, and Team USA didn't lose another game en route to the gold medal.

Back in the NBA, the Blazers have spent the past several years trying to find the right combination of players around Lillard and backcourt mate CJ McCollum. They reached the Western Conference Finals in 2019 but failed to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons.

A do-it-all forward like Green would provide a massive defensive boost while also helping run the offense for the Blazers, who've watched starting forward Robert Covington struggle during the team's 3-4 start to the 2021-22 campaign.

That said, it's unlikely Golden State would be in the market to move the 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year as it owns a 5-1 record and will eventually add Klay Thompson back to the mix after two-plus seasons on the sideline because of injuries.

Green's defensive contributions will be critical if the Warriors are going to surge back into the championship conversation, and he's under contract through 2022-23 with a player option for 2023-24, so Lillard's hopes of trying to get him to Portland may be left on the back burner for a while.

If the 31-year-old Michigan State product does hit the free-agent market in 2023 or 2024, it sounds like Lillard is ready to lead the recruitment efforts for the Blazers.

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