Damian Lillard made it very clear that he is not thinking of requesting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, but that has not stopped social media and talking heads from engaging in talks centered around him.
The All-Star point guard has been linked with a move away from Portland since the end of last season.
Stephen A. Smith got the trade rumors churning once again when he claimed his New York Knicks are the frontrunners in this race for Lillard’s services.
“I happen to know for a fact that even though Damian Lillard isn’t really keen on getting traded from Portland that – if he were to get traded from Portland – the New York Knicks would be his number one destination,” Stephen A. Smith said before qualifying his statement. “I’m telling you what I know. I’m not guessing. I know this for a fact. Y’all figure out how.”
Last season, the Knicks finished the 41-31 and 4th in the East while qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Tom Thibodeau had a 20-win turnaround as the head coach of the team.
The team lacked another scorer and a point guard in Lillard could stop teams from just focusing on Julius Randle and open the floor up more.
Randle signed a three-year, $62 million deal with the Knicks in the summer of 2019. He has one year left on that deal, worth $19.8 million, but only $4 million of it is guaranteed.
He led the Knicks to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference while becoming just the second player in NBA history to average over 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists per game on 40% three-point shooting.