Why Toronto Raptors should and shouldn’t trade Scottie Barnes for Damian Lillard

Scottie Barnes (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Scottie Barnes (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Making the case for and against the Toronto Raptors trading Scottie Barnes for Damian Lillard. 

A week out from the start of the Portland Trail Blazers training camp, it’s looking more and more as if Damian Lillard might still be a part of the organization when the new season begins. It’s been reported that the Blazers would like to trade Lillard before the start of training camp but that’s far from a guarantee at this point.

From everything that’s been reported, aside from the Miami Heat, it’s the Toronto Raptors that may be the dark horse team that appears the most interested in potentially making a deal with the Blazers. But there’s one very big detail that needs to be sorted out. From all indications, a potential deal between the Blazers and Raptors could hinge on the inclusion of Scottie Barnes in the offer.

That could end up being the difference between Lillard being traded to the Raptors or the Heat (or another team that perhaps has not emerged yet).

The Toronto Raptors could trade Scottie Barnes for Damian Lillard

Quite frankly, I’m not sure the Raptors have given the Blazers hard “no” or “yes” when it comes to the inclusion of Barnes in a deal. And that’s one of the bigger reasons why the buzz surrounding the Raptors hasn’t ceased.

The big question remains, should the Raptors be willing to include Barnes in an offer for Lillard? Let’s explore this potential franchise-changing decision.