Miami Heat: 3 Reasons Damian Lillard trade road will lead back to Heat

Damian Lillard (Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports)
Damian Lillard (Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors OG Anunoby (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /

There isn’t a strong trade market for Damian Lillard

The Miami Heat aside, the Toronto Raptors have been the team that has been linked to Damian Lillard the strongest. Short of a mystery team emerging, which probably would’ve already happened, the Blazers don’t have much of a market to choose from. From Toronto’s perspective, this is what it could ultimately come down to – do the Raptors want to include Scottie Barnes in a deal for Lillard? If they do, they probably land him. If they don’t, they may not offer a trade package that is any better than Miami’s best package.

If Barnes is not included, the Raptors’ best offer centers around OG Anunoby, a young player, and draft capital. Anunoby is essentially an expiring contract and will be unlikely to re-sign with the Blazers after this season. And if he is interested, the Blazers would have to pay him huge money. That doesn’t appear inviting on any front.

At that point, would that be a deal worth exploring seriously if you’re the Blazers? I’d have to imagine that Portland is waiting to see if Toronto gets to a point where they’d just give in and include Barnes in an offer for Lillard.

Considering the Raptors refused to trade Barnes for Kevin Durant last summer, I have a hard time imagining they’re going to give up on him after one season to flip him for Lillard. I may be wrong, but that’s just my belief at this point.