Players are starting to report to their team’s training camps after a long summer, as the upcoming NBA season is only a month away. The Damian Lillard trade saga, however, is yet to be resolved, as the player asked for a request out of Portland almost three months ago.
Even though the veteran star asked to be specifically traded to Miami, and the Toronto Raptors seem to be leading the race to sign him, Stephen A. Smith believes he might end up wearing a purple and gold jersey.
According to the ESPN analyst, Lillard’s best chances of winning his first-ever NBA title would be alongside LeBron James and the Lakers squad.
“Personally, I wish that Dame could be in LA. He doesn’t want that but if he could be in LA with LeBron and Anthony Davis. I will tell you this, LeBron James might be about to win the fifth title if Damian Lillard was there with him and Anthony Davis,” he said.
Even though a move to Los Angeles would be an outstanding deal, it probably wouldn’t happen until a new window opens up in December, as the purple and gold are unable to trade players they’ve signed this summer until midseason.
The other matter is, many have praised the way the Lakers have reconstructed their squad ever since the start of the year, as now they are hyped as one of the strongest contenders in the Western Conference. Would Lillard’s potential arrival affect this?
“I’d gift wrapped D’Angelo Russell, I like Vanderbilt I’d give him up too. If I had to give up a Hachimura, I don’t want to because I like Hachimura but I would. Bro I might give up Austin Reaves. I know he the great white hope but he ain’t Dame,” Smith expressed.
The ESPN analyst is convinced that the Portland star would waste his time in Toronto, as they are not true title contenders
Stephen A. Smith has made himself clear. He completely disses the scenario in which Lillard ends up playing with the Raptors, as the reporter is convinced the deal makes no sense at all.
“The Toronto Raptors, that makes no sense whatsoever. I didn’t want to hear about the story after we talk about, I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t like it one bit and I hope that this is completely and patently false because that means absolutely nothing to what Damian Lillard’s long-term plans are,” he assured.
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According to the ESPN icon, if Dame’s decision is purely based of competitiveness and earning his first NBA ring, then the Trail Blazers have the same chances as the Raptors of conquering the league.
“The reality is that he wants to be in a position where he can compete for a championship. If Toronto is an option, stay the hell in Portland. A waste of time to even think about going to the Toronto Raptors,” Smith said.
Even though there might be interested around the league, Lillard insists that the only outcome he desires is to end up playing basketball in South Beach.