Amick: Damian Lillard Has 'Been Campaigning' Blazers for Draymond Green Trade

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard hits a 3-point shot over Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Friday, March 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Steve Dykes/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has reportedly pushed the organization to seek a trade for Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green.

Sam Amick reported during a discussion on The Athletic NBA Show podcast Tuesday that Lillard and Green are close friends, which adds to the potential of Portland having interest in Green should Golden State rework its core.

"If we were handicapping Draymond trade destinations if the Warriors decided to blow it up...that's the one. Damian and his group have for the last couple years been campaigning for that," Amick said.

Green missed the start of the 2020-21 season with a foot injury, and while he was sidelined, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes (via Matt Audilet of The Spun) hinted a trade was possible, depending on the Warriors' results once he returned.

"I'll say this. If Draymond comes back and they don't fare well, we could see a scenario where Draymond will be put out in the market for trade bait," Haynes said on the Posted Up podcast. "We could see that, the way this franchise is going."

He added: "And I know a team, oh my goodness, I know a team that would be salivating, if that was the case. I'm not going to mention it."

The Warriors have gone 2-1 since he returned on New Year's Day, though Green has only made a minor impact while getting his conditioning back. He's averaged 2.0 points, 5.7 assists and 4.0 rebounds while playing just 22.3 minutes per contest.

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Golden State was expected to vault back toward championship contention this season with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both returning from injuries, but Thompson suffered a torn Achilles in November that will cause him to miss the entire campaign. It was a major blow to the Dubs' title hopes.

Green just started a four-year, $99.7 million contract with the Warriors, so any deal would be made out of a desire to move in a new direction rather than concerns about losing him to free agency.

Meanwhile, the Blazers are once again playing without Zach Collins, who missed most of last season because of ankle surgery, after of a second surgery on his ankle.

Green would represent a more traditional power forward for Portland, which has been mostly using the stretch 4 combination of Robert Covington and Carmelo Anthony to fill the void.

Both the Warriors (4-3) and Blazers (3-4) might want to wait until closer to the March 25 trade deadline before seriously talking about a blockbuster swap.

Portland likely wouldn't want to invest in a veteran with a lucrative contract like Green unless it's a legitimate title contender out of the loaded Western Conference, and Golden State may not want to break up its foundation unless it's out of playoff picture.