The Toronto Raptors are the frontrunners when it comes to acquiring Damian Lillard, two high-ranking NBA team executives told ESPN’s Andscape.
Marc Spears says that despite the Raptors interest in Lillard, a deal is not imminent.
Spears says it’s been three months since Lillard’s request became public and no substantial trade conversations have taken place between the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers.
When it comes to what the Raptors could offer the Blazers, Spears looks at the Raptors options:
“A Raptors offer could include a package featuring players from a roster that includes two-time NBA All-Star Pascal Siakam, 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, forward O.G. Anunoby — who is eligible for a contract extension — and rookie sharpshooter Gradey Dick. The Blazers are intrigued about adding a young 6-foot-8 sharpshooter in Dick.”
The Blazers being intrigued by Gradey Dick is something to look out for.
The Raptors drafted Gradey Dick 13th overall in the 2023 NBA Draft. They selected Dick for his shooting ability. At Kansas, Dick averaged 14.1 points and 5.1 rebounds on 44.2 percent shooting. He was a blistering 40.3 percent from deep.
Will the Raptors trade Dick?
Giving up on Dick before he even plays a game for the Raptors would be a huge gamble. But we know Masai Ujiri and the Raptors are no strangers to making a big decision when it comes to winning.
A trade for Damian Lillard is a huge risk. The Raptors would have to give up a ton of assets and future picks for a 33-year-old Lillard, who still has four-years and nearly $220 million left on his contract.
Also, there was some speculation that Lillard didn’t want to come to Toronto. However, Spears did say that Lillard is a professional and he would show up and play in Toronto.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. However, if the Raptors are serious about acquiring Lillard, they would likely have to include their rookie sharpshooter in the deal.
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