Damian Lillard Trade May Cost $750,000+ to Blazers as Controversial Decisions Match Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving’s Mavs

Published 09/29/2023, 10:16 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

NBA teams using the injury reason to sit out players has been a bone of contention for quite some time now. Some take advantage of this strategy to keep their trade assets safe or to load manage their stars. The Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has been notoriously famous for using this trick to preserve his key players for the postseason. But this has become an epidemic that needs to be curbed sooner than later.

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The Portland Trail Blazers have recently traded Damian Lillard to the Bucks. But, this has been in the making for quite some time, & the ex-Blazers star had to obey the front office in order to make his demand happen.

Is losing encouraged in the NBA?

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In the NBA, a handful of teams are the genuine contenders. The rest are already thinking in terms of their future. If losing games would give them a high lottery pick, why would they not do it? Then it becomes a question of morality, not of legality. Last season Damian Lillard found himself in such a situation. His front office apparently asked him to sit out, citing a calf injury.

Chris Haynes reveals the Lillard situation with the following quote in the Bleacher Report. “He was told the higher the draft pick, the better chance they had at using the pick to facilitate a trade for a proven veteran player.”

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Last season the Mavericks tried to pull a quick one on the Knicks by asking Luka Doncic & Kyrie Irving to sit out in order to lose the game, & save their draft pick. And it rightfully attracted the ire of the league.

The way ahead.

A competitive league is the most entertaining league. Last season is the testament to that. Thus, the teams that are in the trade market, or the players who are trying to move to a different team, both should be held accountable by stringent laws. Teams manipulating its players, or players colluding with their peers, should be dealt with an iron fist.

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This being a cash-rich league, monetary punishments will not be a deterrent. If it were the former NBA commissioner, this Damian Lillard trade would already be in jeopardy. Let us wait and watch how Adam Silver deals with this issue.

Watch the story, “Lame Time as Usual”: Portland Fans Turn on Damian Lillard Hours Within Bucks Trade After His ‘I Could Never Be Replaced’ Release

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Written by:

Vinod Pillai

118Articles

One take at a time

Vinod is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having over six years of experience as a creative writer, he combines his passion for basketball with his love for journalism. Being an ardent fan of the NBA, he has been following & learning from reputed insiders & reporters such as Adrian Wojnarowski, Tim Legler, JJ Redick, Stephen A.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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