Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press
The Los Angeles Lakers have one of the best rosters in the NBA. LeBron James is one of the greatest players of all time. Anthony Davis is one of the leading players in the league today. Kyle Kuzma is a 24-year-old who is likely some years from his peak.
But what if the Lakers also had a point guard who is a five-time All-Star, a four-time All-NBA selection and one of the top scorers currently in the league?
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, if Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard were to request a trade, “it’s believed the [New York] Knicks or Lakers would be his choices” of where to play.
The 29-year-old has played his entire eight-year NBA career with the Trail Blazers, and he’s signed through the end of the 2024-25 season.
Portland is one of the 22 teams that will be playing when the 2019-20 season resumes later in July in Orlando, Florida. And while the Trail Blazers are out of a playoff spot at No. 9 in the Western Conference, they are only three-and-a-half games back of the Memphis Grizzlies in eighth, so a postseason push isn’t out of the realms of possibility.
Lillard has been a strong player for nearly a decade, and this season has been arguably his best yet. He’s averaging career highs in points (28.9) and assists (7.8) per game while shooting a career-best 45.7 percent from the field over 58 contests.
Not only that, but Lillard is playing an NBA-high 36.9 minutes per game, his most since averaging 38.6 minutes over 82 games in his 2012-13 rookie campaign.
Although Lillard and the Trail Blazers have made the playoffs each of the previous six seasons, they have only reached the Western Conference Finals once, which was last season when they were swept by the Golden State Warriors. Portland has had three first-round exits during that span.
But when Lillard signed a supermax extension with the Trail Blazers last summer, he praised the environment and culture of the organization, according to Sean Meagher of The Oregonian, so things might have to change for him to want out of Portland before the end of his deal.
Would the Lakers have the assets to acquire Lillard? The Knicks may have more to offer in a trade package than L.A., especially because their draft picks are likely to be higher and more valuable than the Lakers’ in the near future.
While this trade may never come to fruition, it’s fun to think about the possibility of James, Davis and Lillard playing on the same team. The Lakers are already one of the top championship contenders in the NBA, and they would enter superteam territory with Dame in tow.