Lillard has been loyal to the Blazers since they selected him No. 6 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, but trade rumors recently have picked up as Portland has missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time in the guard’s career.
Making a move, as Amick suggests, like re-signing forward Jerami Grant and adding Green could convince Lillard to stay. But the Blazers would face an uphill battle making the latter work out financially.
“While the Blazers have Grant’s Bird rights and can thus re-sign him despite being over the salary cap, they currently have no room to sign someone of Green’s ilk,” Amick wrote. “Especially considering he’s likely looking for a deal in the mid-$20 million range annually. There are sign-and-trade pathways to be explored, and likely with a third team needing to be involved, but it’s an implausible prospect to say the least.
“And again, all signs point to Green wanting to stay put [with Golden State].”
The peak of Lillard’s playoff career was the 2019 Western Conference finals when the Warriors swept the Trail Blazers in four games. He hasn’t been out of the first round of the playoffs since. The Trail Blazers are set up for the future with a young core of Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe and 2023 No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson, but Lillard is ready to win now.
Many teams, Portland included, would love to add Green’s defensive tenacity to their locker room. But still, all signs point to Green running it back with longtime teammates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in the Bay.
Source: Yahoo Sports