Damian Lillard Trade Saga Takes Another Strange Twist as Jayson Tatum’s Celtics Enter Into the Picture Following Raptors’ Interest

Published 09/25/2023, 3:13 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Damian Lillard is in a sticky situation. He doesn’t want to play for the Portland Trail Blazers. By now, it is no secret that the Miami Heat is his preferred destination. However, both teams have remained patient and skeptical. This skepticism has created uncertainties if the deal will happen at all. The Blazers will want a huge return for a prime-time player like Lillard. Meanwhile, the Heat is carefully balancing who and what they can give up for a player fast approaching his mid-30s. These considerations may weaken the rigid stance of Lillard, whose camp claims that he only wants to go to the Heat.

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In this wake, another contender has likely emerged. The Boston Celtics can be a destination.

Where will Damian Lillard end up?

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As someone who can give more than 30 points a game and quality playmaking, Dame Time is a rare talent. The riveting Guard has been one of the best clutch performers. For the Portland Trail Blazers, he exerted too much energy as the primetime scorer. He found the ball in his hands a lot and had to perform at peak for his team to win. His burden also increased his injuries. He didn’t have the luxury to give it to someone else and divide operational duties. But with the Celtics, such concerns will dissipate.

As per BetOnline.org, if Lillard is not traded to the Heat, then the Celtics are the favorites to get him.

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There are murmurs that Malcolm Brogdon is disgruntled and, with him still in his prime, the Celtics can draw interest from the demanding Trail Blazers. But the Celtics will need a lot more to sway the franchise. They will need future draft picks and will have to stake their long-term future.

For Lillard, this fit makes a lot of sense. He desperately wants to win a ring. The Celtics are always a contender, making five Conference Finals and one Finals appearance in less than a decade. Lillard will not have to put up 30+ regularly for his team to have a chance.

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He can have the services of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, which will ease his burden. It can also make him even more lethal during late-game situations. But will a deal fall in place?

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Is a Dame trade possible before February 2024?

The Trail Blazers definitely need an assortment of draft picks paired with a rising star. When it comes to draft picks and young talent, the Toronto Raptors have a lot to offer, more than the Celtics and the Heat for sure. Reports suggest that they are also interested in bringing Lillard. However, some reports also suggest that their GM Masai Ujiri may have backed off from the talks. If developments like these continue, then only reality can come to fruition.

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And that is Lillard still being a part of the Trail Blazers at the start of the season. Perhaps, a midseason trade around February next year is on for the title-craving superstar.

Watch This Story: Hours After Damian Lillard’s “MVP” Taunt, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Heartfelt Gesture Leaves Dennis Schroder Moved

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Written by:

Shubham Singh

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Shubham is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. He became a fan of the NBA in late 2000s and his interest skyrocketed after Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks upset the Miami Heat in Six Games during 2011 NBA Finals. He loves looking into playing styles of different players and teams while also trying to analyse what circumstances shape a typical NBA game.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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