In his first trade deadline as the Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens made key moves to enhance the roster and save money. According to reports, Stevens could have a bigger move up his sleeve in the off-season, involving one of the NBA’s very best players.
In a new article for Heavy.com, Adam Taylor cites one NBA executive who believes that Stevens would pursue a Damian Lillard trade in the off-season.
“Brad has a soft spot for [Lillard], I know,” the exec told Taylor. “They can build a package around Derrick White and Marcus Smart, with [Daniel] Theis and [Aaron] Nesmith and a pick.”
Lillard would come at a high price, both in terms of a personnel return to Portland and his contract that pays him north of $40 million per year, beginning next season.
The six-time All-Star was averaging 24 points per game this season prior to an abdominal injury, which he is currently recovering from after surgery.
Lillard would add another dynamic scoring threat at the guard position to pair with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and significantly Boston’s stock as Eastern Conference contenders.
At the same time, trade rumors surrounding Lillard have swirled for years. They all end up in the same cycle: rumors pop up, Lillard commits to Portland, repeat.
The summer of 2022 marks the latest chapter of Lillard’s always-murky future. It remains to be seen whether Stevens and the Celtics will finally bring the rumors to life.
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