Trade rumors have been swirling around Portland Trail Blazers superstar guard Damian Lillard since the team was eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs on June 3 by a depleted Denver Nuggets team.
It was the team’s fourth first-round exit in five years, and the Blazers and head coach Terry Stotts mutually agreed to part ways as a result. And in the subsequent days, media and fan speculation over the future of the franchise – and its top players – has been rampant.
So, will Damian Lillard be traded? It’s a complicated question with a lot of moving parts, but the answer likely comes down to whether Lillard actually wants to leave.
Lillard has a four-year extension worth more than $176 million kicking in next season, and has been steadfastly loyal to the organization, but NBA superstars force their way out of unfavorable situations all the time.
Who the Blazers pick as their next coach and what they choose to do with the likes of C.J. McCollum and pending free agent Norm Powell will surely have an effect on Lillard’s decision.
In the meantime, online sportsbook Sportsbook has released a Damian Lillard odds prop for where he could be traded to, if it happens.
Here are the full Damian Lillard betting odds for potential landing spots:
Damian Lillard odds: Will Damian Lillard be traded?
|New York Knicks||+250|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+350|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+400|
Odds as of June 23 at Sportsbook
If you’re new to betting basketball, there are some very important betting resources below for you to check out to assist you in your handicapping:
Where will Damian Lillard be traded?
New York Knicks (+250)
Oddsmakers have the Knicks as the most likely team to land Lillard if he is traded. After a solid season that included a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference and their first playoff berth since the 2012-13 season, it’s easy to see why the New York Knicks would covet a player like Damian Lillard at this time. The Knicks likely feel that pairing Lillard with Julius Randle (and maybe another star) gives them a shot at contention, but would they be willing to pay the price to acquire him?
The Knicks have built a war chest of picks since trading Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas a couple of years ago, but it would probably take at least three first-rounders, a couple of pick swaps and R.J. Barrett or a combination of other young players to land Lillard. Are the Knicks in a good enough place organizationally to empty the cupboard for one player?
Philadelphia 76ers (+275)
The Sixers are a logical trade partner for the Trail Blazers for a couple of reasons.
After a terrible showing in Philly’s playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks, Sixers guard Ben Simmons has the entire city of Philadelphia about ready to run him out of town.
Simmons, a three-time all-star and first-team All-Defense selection, also fits what Portland needs perfectly (someone who can actually play defense) so it’s easy to see a match. However, there have been rumors that managers around the league see a Simmons-McCollum deal as a trade that makes more sense. And it’s easy to see why bringing in Simmons to play with Lillard, rather than deal Lillard for Simmons, would be more appealing to Portland.
All that said, these are two teams that seem headed for major shakeups, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Sixers tried to put together a big package for Lillard instead of the 29-year-old McCollum – though McCollum would be considerably cheaper.
Miami Heat (+300)
The Heat are third in these Damian Lillard odds after being mentioned specifically by Stephen A. Smith as a team that believes it can acquire Lillard. The Heat have a ton of players coming off the books this offseason and will have the cap space to fit Lillard.
Acquiring the star point guard would also put the Heat right back in the conversation of the best teams in the East. But similar to the Knicks, are the Heat willing to lose much of their organizational depth and some young stars or picks to get Lillard?
The Heat have also been rumored to be in on the Bradley Beal sweepstakes and may view Beal as a better fit than Lillard.
Los Angeles Lakers (+350)
Could the Lakers swoop in and make a deal for Lillard? Pairing him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis would be mighty enticing for the Lakers front office, but do they have the assets to outbid teams like the Knicks or Sixers?
The Lakers already have a top-heavy team, but this would be the ultimate all-in move that would immediately make them championship favorites in the NBA next season.
The Lakers’ Damian Lillard odds are a little lower for a reason, but with only so many quality LeBron years left, nobody should be shocked if they try to pull off another blockbuster.
Best Bet: Philadelphia 76ers (+275)
Bettors should keep in mind that there has not been much indication to this point that Damian Lillard wants to leave Portland. The Trail Blazers are also under no obligation to trade him as he is under contract for four more seasons. However, that can all change with one tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski.
So, when it comes to Damian Lillard odds on where he could land if traded, our recommendation for best bet is the Philadelphia 76ers at +275. Sixers president Daryl Morey is not afraid to make big moves, the fan base is screaming for him to make one, and they have one of the more attractive trade chips to send Portland’s way in Ben Simmons (though his trade value is probably at its lowest right now). Pairing Lillard with Joel Embiid and Simmons with McCollum is a situation that makes sense for both teams.
As well, the odds aren’t that different between any of the teams on the list. Normally we would look at the biggest underdogs and sprinkle some money there. But without a big disparity between the teams in the prop, it makes more sense to bet on the teams that have the most smoke around them.